Lawn care need not be hard or complicated. It can be as easy as following these 5 simple steps.

#1. Only water the lawn when it needs it.

Take your sprinkler system off the automatic setting and turn it to manual. The biggest way to waste water is to run your sprinkler system on the same setting all season. Grass needs less water during the cool months of Spring and Fall than it does during the hot months of Summer. This results in overwatering the grass during the cool months and under watering it  in the hot months. By setting it to manual, it will only run when it needs to (when you tell it to). Lawn grass is an amazing plant. It will adjust to changing climatic conditions. Most lawns are overwatered and can exist on much less. Your lawn will only use what it needs. The grass will tell us when it needs watering. Signs to look for: grass turns steel gray or straw colored, becomes crunchy, or footprints are visible after walking on it. If any of these conditions exist your lawn needs watering. This will limit the number of times needed to water, requiring less water.

#2.  Aerate your lawn Spring and Fall

A majority of lawns are grown on compacted ground. This can be the result of improper soil preparation when the lawn was first installed or simply from the foot traffic a lawn must endure from year to year. Compacted ground is hard ground, not very porous and very difficult to keep wet. The solution is to loosen up the soil so it will hold water more efficiently. We can accomplish this through aeration.Lawn aeration can be done manually or with a power aeration machine. Lawn aeration should be done twice a year, in the Spring and Fall.

#3.  Set the mower height as high as it will go

Most homeowners cut their grass too short. Maintained in this way,  grass will  develop a shallow root system and will need to be watered more frequently. The longer the leaf blade the deeper the root system will need to be to support the plant. Mowing high will force the roots deeper into the soil where it can draw moisture from the sub soil and then only need supplemental watering. The longer leaf blade will also shade the plant. This will mean mowing less often using less water.

#4.  Fertilize four times a year.

All plants need nutrients, grass is no exception. Fertilizing regularly will keep your lawn healthy, needing less maintenance. Use the four holidays, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween as an easy way to remember when to fertilize.

#5.  Don't bag the grass clippings.

Grass clippings are mostly water and will not contribute to thatch buildup. By recycling the grass  clippings, or "Grasscycling", you will be returning moisture and valuable nutrients to soil, in effect fertilizing naturally, lessening the need for additional fertilizer later on. In addition to not filling up landfills with more plastic bags and yard waste, your lawn will become more environmentally friendly. Grasscycling results in less work- no more bagging-and lessens the need for fertilizer.

#6.  Mow the leaves not rake.

Mowing leaves in the Fall and leaving them to decompose in the grass is a form of natural composting. Adding compost to the soil will mean a healthier soil and as a result a healthier lawn. Not to mention less need for plastic bags. Mowing your leaves will mean less work-no more raking and bagging-a healthier soil, and a healthier lawn needing less water and less fertilizer.

Following these 5 simple steps  will result in Less ; less watering, less mowing, less fertilizing, less bagging, less raking and of course less work. Lawn care made easy.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Sandralise


Related Articles:
It's time to fertilize
Lawn aeration is the secret to a beautiful lawn
How to prepare your lawn for drought conditions
Recycle your lawn


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