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Our outdoor living spaces are more important than ever. But maintaining your yard is a constant battle, tackling brown spots, continuous watering, mowing, and fighting the ever-present weeds.
Looking after your lawn might seem like a thankless task, but a beautifully landscaped yard can significantly reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Read on to transform your lawn into the perfect outdoor paradise.
1. Managing crabgrass and other weeds
Crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds are a real nuisance to gardeners. With uncontrolled growth and determination to stick around, annual and perennial weeds are a constant pain. Simply mowing the weeds isn’t enough to remove them.
The most effective way to eliminate crabgrass and other weeds is to pull the entire thing, including the roots.
If you find crabgrass is overtaking your lawn, you may need to try herbicides to get on top of the problem. Alternatively, you could also consider taking a gardening and lawn care course to learn more about managing your gardens.
2. Stop pet urine damage
Pet urine contains high concentrations of nitrogen, which can burn lawns. If you find bald or brown spots across your yard, your beloved furry friend might be to blame.
Try changing your pet’s diet to contain less protein — exceeding protein requirements is often the culprit. Saturating the area with water will dilute the nitrogen concentration. Or else, train your pet to use protected areas, such as those covered by rock or mulch.
3. Remedying bald spots
Patchy grass ruins the aesthetic of the lawn. Numerous issues could cause them:
- Foot traffic.
- Poor soil conditions.
- Pet urine.
- Buried rocks.
Your first step should be to rule out pests and diseases. Once you know what is causing the issue, you can begin to remedy it and return your lawn to its pristine, lush green colour. Seed and water the affected areas, but avoid flooding as this can kill new seeds.
4. Preventing damage from weed killer
Weed killers might also cause bald spots or other lawn damage. Try to use selective weed killers that should cause minimal damage.
However, if your grass continues to suffer from herbicides, you’ll need to remove the grass. Loosen about two inches of soil and mow the area around the bald spot to let sunlight in. Add compost, topsoil, and fertiliser before spreading seeds and watering regularly for a few weeks.
If you accidentally spray herbicides on plants, don’t worry. You can still save them. Prune the affected leaves to stop the weed killer from spreading throughout the plant — thoroughly water it to dilute the herbicide. If left untreated, the plant might eventually die.
5. Protecting high-traffic areas
One of the best things about having a lawn is getting to use it, especially spending the summer months enjoying backyard parties and letting the kids run riot. However, it comes at a cost. Your lawn can suffer significant wear and tear throughout the year, particularly in warmer weather.
To get your lawn back in shape, you must aerate the grass and seed and water it properly. Aeration is crucial to allow water and air to penetrate the soil and enable the grass to build better root systems. Consult your local plant nurseries to help you find the right plants for your needs.
6. Watering your lawn
Less frequent watering encourages the roots to grow deeper. An excellent way to stick to a healthy watering schedule is to use an automated sprinkling system. Make sure there are no plumbing leaks that could compromise your grass.
While you should mow your lawn frequently, avoid watering your grass daily — unless you’re experiencing an arid summer. Too much watering weakens the health of your lawn and encourages shallow roots. Try to water your grass deeply about once a week. The new turf will need more frequent watering: daily for the first week and twice or three times for the next few weeks.
7. Mow high and frequently
While many gardeners prefer to shear their lawns to the ground, so they don’t have to mow so often, it’s a mistake. You may do more harm to your grass than good. A good rule is never to cut more than a third of the grass blade.
If you cut your lawn too short, you might cause turf stress and leave it more vulnerable. Moreover, length in the summer months can help protect from scorching. Some opt to install artificial grass to attain a lush garden all year long.