As we move closer to the summer, many homeowners will certainly be looking to show off their lawns and probably host a few garden parties. To get your lawn adequately green, healthy, and tidy in time for summer, you need to start preparations a few weeks before. To this end, you first need to know how to tell if your lawn is healthy or not and how to treat an unhealthy lawn.
Signs That Your Lawn Is Unhealthy
Issues like diseases and dry patches can spread very fast through your lawn and leave you with a huge treatment bill. Knowing what signs of ill health to check for will help you spot and correct the most common problems before they take root and become too expensive to solve. Here are some of the most notable signs of a lawn in poor health:
Dryness – Hydration is a key aspect of good lawn health and a dry soil bed is a major warning sign that everything’s not okay with the lawn. To test the hydration levels, drive a screwdriver through the ground. If it goes in easily, the soil is well hydrated. If it doesn’t, the lawn is due for a good watering.
Weeds – Having small patches of weed is completely normal, and shouldn’t worry you. However, if there are areas of the lawn where weeds are more than the grass, you need to remove them immediately as weeds deny the grass access to water, nutrients, sunlight, and even space.
Change of color – A healthy lawn is usually green in color. Any visible discoloration – bluish-green appearance in particular – is a sign of dehydration and possible disease.
Hard Soil – Healthy lawns typically have soft, loose soil that allows free movement of water, air, and nutrients. Hard or compacted soil indicates a lot of human and vehicle movement on the lawn, which means the grass can’t really grow well due to both the disturbance, and the inability of water and nutrients to seep through the hard soil. In such a situation, it would be better to create a path in the lawn for cars and people to pass through and then focus on conserving the grass in the remaining area.
Bare Patches – Spots without grass indicate that your lawn is thinning, and therefore unhealthy. This could be as a result of high traffic or dehydration. Determine the exact issue and address it immediately before the damage increases.
Insect Infestation – Watch out for the concentrated presence of insects like webworms, armyworms, and white grubs in and around your lawn. In large quantities, these insects will not only eat and destroy the grass but also help to spread diseases around the lawn.
How to Keep Your Lawn Healthy
As you’ve probably noticed, the above signs are pretty common and even the slightest issue can spread across the entire lawn within no time. Below is a simple lawn care routine that helps you keep your grass green and healthy throughout the year:
Regular Watering – Grass needs to be watered at least twice a week to grow to its full potential. Of course, the exact number of times you need to water, and the amount of water to give depends on your region, time of the year, type of grass, and the soil. As a rule of thumb, however, water your lawn whenever you feel it wilt as you walk through it.
Aerating – As mentioned earlier, your soil can get quite hard and compact over time and prevent much-needed water and nutrients from reaching the grassroots. As such, you should try aerating the soil at the beginning of active growth season (you may need some expert advice on this). If the soil is not too hard, you can use a normal fork or tine.
Fertilizing – Once in a while, spray some fertilizer on your lawn to supplement the nutrients and minerals naturally found in the soil. Obviously, you should use a fertilizer that fits your lawn’s unique needs and requirements. For instance, a fertilizer that’s rich in phosphorus would be a good bet if you have some bare spots since potassium aids in root development. Similarly, if you have an extreme case of dehydration, try to use a fertilizing agent that’s high in potassium (in addition to water) to help the grass develop drought tolerance.
At Cerullo Landscape & Irrigation, we have been designing, treating, and caring for lawns for more than 40 years. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help in getting your lawn spruced up for the summer.