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The perfect lawn may sound like a pipe dream, but with our tips below, it can soon become a reality. For most people, the garden is not just an extension of the home, but basically another room in the house. It should be treated and maintained as such and it won?t have escaped your attention that something tends to take up more space than anything else. The lawn is effectively the carpet in your garden, and the centrepiece on which you can run, play, cook and do just about anything else.
You might have moved on to AstroTurf if you tired of cutting the lawn, or you might be stuck with something other than grass in the back yard. However, if you do indeed have plenty of lawn space to work with and want it to look as fantastic as it possibly can, you?re in the right place.
Perhaps your lawn maintenance routine covers a quick mow every few weeks. You might not even go that far, preferring instead to let a robot mower take care of all the hard work. However, the effort you put in is always going to be reflected in the results, and if a luscious green space is your ultimate aim, the following tips and a bit of elbow grease will combine for fantastic results.
The Perfect Lawn is Mowed Regularly
Given that you?ve landed here at Robode, the chances are that you take your garden at least somewhat seriously and the back yard doesn?t currently consist of an overgrown mix of weeds, plants and grass. With that in mind, the chances are that mow the lawn at least semi-regularly. With that said, have you ever wondered how often you should mow the lawn?
While it is probably not what you want to hear, the honest answer is that it depends. At a bare minimum, you want to mow the lawn often enough that it never gets the chance to look untidy. As a rule of thumb, mowing the lawn once every two weeks should be sufficient to keep it in check, and there is more than just the appearance to worry about.
Aesthetics aside, a regularly mowed lawn will also be a healthier lawn. Much as a regular trim of your hair will get rid of split ends and promote even growth, the same applies to grass. When it does not get overly long, there is no chance of blades of grass struggling under their own weight, and the focus will shift from growing as long as possible to becoming thick and luscious, just as we hoped.
Aim to Trim a Third Off Each Time You Mow
If your lawn has grown to the point that you need a scythe to get through, it is probably better that you come back to this article later. For those that keep their lawn at least somewhat in check, it may be time to mess with the settings on your lawnmower of choice.
Cheaper models tend to adopt a standard approach to cutting ? you mow the lawn and you end up with the same results every time. However, if you have a mid-range mower or better, you can often set it to only trim a certain amount. Keep a third off in mind as you set it up. The end result will be a lawn that looks far tidier and more uniform than where it started, even if it is not as short as you might like. However, in only cutting off a relatively small amount, you protect the grass and enable it to adapt to its new length. It will also prepare for the next cut, so you can soon get back down to your ideal length, just gradually.
Start a Watering Schedule
If all you?re used to doing is cutting the grass, your next step towards the perfect lawn is a watering schedule. Funnily enough, this is an area of lawn maintenance that often catches people out. Most people do not do it at all, while others lump on the water like its going out of fashion.
Ideally, you only want to spread around 13 ml of water on the average lawn, and you definitely do not want to do it every day. The ideal schedule will fit the season. In winter, your grass has more important things to worry about than getting enough water, so you can skip the schedule altogether. Unless you encounter a particularly dry autumn/fall, the same applies there too.
In spring, your lawn could probably do with a moisture boost, and watering once per week should suffice. Then, when summer comes around, you should up your watering schedule to twice each week, adjusting for particularly dry periods.
The type of grass you have plays a part too, and it is not unreasonable to seek specialist advice either online or at your local garden centre if you decided to go against the grain when your grass was installed or if you fancy something different as part of a lawn renovation project.
Consider a Wetting Agent to make your Watering Schedule Go Further
Wetting agents are often the domain of seasoned gardeners, and by no means something you see on the average shed shelf. However, they have a part to play in the maintenance of the perfect lawn, especially if you want the best possible rewards for your watering schedule efforts.
Watering agents are generally a cheap addition to your routine ? a litre of Hydroburst Horticultural Wetting Agent will probably last you a year if you save it for drought periods and does the job immaculately.
The idea of a wetting agent is that it increases the lateral movement of liquids on garden surfaces, and it is by no means only used on grass. In practice, the agent breaks down the waxy coating on the grass, enabling more water to reach the soil. After all, your watering schedule is not there to moisten the grass blades. Instead, you want as much liquid to reach the soil as possible. It feeds the grass and reduces water consumption, so if you plan to take your lawn maintenance to the next level, it is worth of consideration.
The Perfect Lawn needs to be Fertilised
Seeing as we?re in the mood for setting up schedules with the watering, we might as well introduce fertilisation into the mix too. Again, it is only usually through experience or reading features such as this one that you take lawn maintenance to the next level, so we are happy to suggest that you use fertiliser on more than just your plants and flowers.
Fortunately, there is no need to fertilise your lawn every time you mow or water it. Indeed, the ideal fertilisation schedule will see you only going out of your way every couple of months. Even then, the seasons matter too, and you can put your feet up during winter ? grass only requires the extra help from spring through to autumn/fall.
Unlike plants and flowers, your goal is not to make the grass grow particularly big and strong ? the taller it gets, the tighter your mowing schedule will need to be. That means that the typical fertilisers you?ll see on the shelves of garden centres and DIY stores are less relevant here.
Instead, your focus will be on a slow release fertiliser, such as the specialised Slow Release Fertiliser from the Grass People. As the company name suggests, they specialise in grass rather than plants and this fertiliser is designed for spring and summer use to keep your lawn adequately fed for between twelve and 16 weeks.
Crucially, the slow release means that you do not need to contend with growth spurts. This brand of fertilisation will keep your lawn in fantastic condition without any need to adjust your mowing or watering schedules.
Even the Perfect Lawn might Require Renovation
A full lawn renovation may sound like a big job and, in the context of the other tips featured, it is. However, even if you picked up a lawnmower for the first time in your life this morning, you?ve got the necessary skills to make it happen.
A lawn renovation becomes an ideal option when the lawn itself falls into disrepair. Indeed, if you plan to put these tips into practice and are starting off with anything less than the perfect lawn, it might be worth your while to start with a lawn renovation. Otherwise, it is time to seriously consider renovation if you feel that a quarter or more of your lawn isn?t up to scratch ? otherwise, a lawn repair may be a cheaper and easier option.
We go into more detail on what is involved elsewhere on the site, but the basic principle involves aerating the lawn and cutting it as low as you possibly can. Most renovations then involve reseeding the lawn to give it more to work with as you seek to achieve your dreams of lusciousness.
Outside of the tightest mow you?ve ever done, that does not sound difficult ? mainly because it isn?t. However, it is more a question of time and patience than difficulty, as your grass will require some additional support while it beds in. Expect to water the lawn daily for three weeks once the renovation itself is complete. At that point, you?ll have a healthy lawn that is ready for the various upkeep techniques featured here.
Chemicals are the Antithesis of the Perfect Lawn
Even if your environmental concerns extend no further than your garden fence, we would always recommend the avoidance of chemicals in anything you do to the garden.
The most common occurrence of chemicals in the garden comes from herbicides and pesticides and the best way to avoid them is to plan ahead. If your lawn is susceptible to weeds, for example, you should treat the grass before weeds get the chance to appear. A pre-emergent herbicide is less abrasive and stops weeds appearing rather than tackling them after the fact. Throw that into your schedule to keep it active, and you won?t have to address weeds in the lawn afterwards, naturally reducing your chemical use.
Among the environmental concerns are the effects that chemical herbicides have on the wildlife in your garden, particularly bees, and also the risk that your treatment of choice enters the waterways. Neither situation is ideal, so if you can avoid the more abrasive substances altogether, it will reflect positively on your results.
The Perfect Lawn Sits on the Perfect Soil Base
Unlike with plants and flowers, you?d prefer not to be able to see the soil under your grass. With that in mind, it doesn?t need to look good, but you should still treat it right. You can make all the effort you like to get the grass to grow thick and even, but if the underlying soil is not up to scratch, you place yourself at a distinct disadvantage.
At the very least, you should keep a soil testing kit alongside your other garden supplies, so that you can check the status of the invisible soil regularly. A typical testing kit, such as the Abafia model featured in the link, will test moisture, light and the PH level of the soil. Crucially, they also come with a guide concerning what constitutes ideal readings and you can react accordingly.
If anything is even slightly amiss, it can have an impact on the quality of your lawn, and you can then use liquid kelp, humic acid and other products to return to balanced soil with the results clearly visible in the thickness and quality of the lawn.
Consider Plant Growth Regulators
We consider most of the products and treatments mentioned throughout this feature as essentials for anyone that takes their lawn care seriously. However, a plant growth regulator is an optional extra that only applies to those that live in particularly hot, humid conditions throughout most of the year and are at risk of drought.
While a typical fertiliser will promote growth in plants and grass, a regulator will instead slow that growth down. In the context of the perfect lawn, the regulator will encourage your grass to focus on growing thicker rather than longer. That enhances the luscious green appearance that we crave, while also making your lawn more resistant to any lack of moisture caused by prolonged high temperatures.
Learn and Adapt as Every Lawn is Different
If you?re starting from scratch or are only accustomed to the basics, you cannot expect to become a lawn expert overnight. Crucially, there is no better practice area than your own lawn, as you can get used to the unique requirements of your own patch of grass. We would reiterate the importance of a schedule if you seek optimal results, as mowing, irrigation and fertilisation are all key components of the perfect lawn.
As you follow that schedule from one season to the next, you will gain a greater understanding of your own personal gardening preferences and how your lawn reacts to different kinds of stimulation. It is important to remember that what constitutes the perfect lawn for one person may not be ideal for another, and unless you plan to enter contests with strict requirements, you are free to interpret the idea as you see fit. After all, you will spend more time in that garden than anyone else, and if you?re making an effort, you may as well reap the rewards to your liking!
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Last update on 2020-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API