A healthy lawn not only adds to the look of your home but also improves the property value. It gives you and your family a space to enjoy nature, play sports and relax outside. There are a few basic maintenance practices that every homeowner should follow to keep their lawn in good condition all year round.
If you’re interested in landscaping your home, you may wonder about the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer. Both of these professionals have their own set of skills and can accomplish similar tasks. A landscape architect works on large outdoor projects like park and recreation complexes or commercial centers. Lawn care can provide a detailed plan of the landscape and its features and a drainage and irrigation system. In addition, they can help a project meet code requirements.
Mowing is one of the most important tasks for keeping your lawn healthy and looking great. Regular mowing encourages the grass to grow back thicker and makes it harder for weeds to take hold.
It also keeps the grass weed-free by preventing airborne weed seeds from touching the soil. The mowing height of your mower can also make a difference to the health of your grass.
The optimum upper cutting height for cool-season grasses (heat wave, macho mix, estate mix and blue wave) is generally between 3-4 inches. Low mowing is recommended in spring and fall before overseeding and during drought conditions in summer to reduce stress.
A good mowing schedule considers the ideal grass height, the growth patterns of your lawn and the weather conditions at any given time. It would be arbitrary to set a schedule based on the length of time between mowings.
A lawn needs a well-balanced diet of nutrients to grow and look its best. This includes nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
Grass types vary by region, so it is important to identify your grass type and understand its needs to fertilize properly. Generally, cool-season grasses are fertilized in the spring, while warm-season grasses should be fed in the fall.
Fertilizer applications should be spread in a crisscross pattern to provide better coverage. Use a lawn spreader to apply the material.
Before spreading the fertilizer, prepare your lawn by mowing it and removing any weeds. This helps expose more soil to the fertilizer and prevents a heavy, muddy, or saturated layer from developing.
In addition, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before fertilizing. If it rains, the fertilizer will be washed away and your lawn may not receive all of its benefits.
Weeding is a key part of any lawn care regimen. It keeps your grass healthy and weed-free and helps it survive the winter.
The first step to weeding is identifying problem areas in your lawn. Low or raised spots that don’t drain properly can cause water to puddle on the ground, creating conditions perfect for growing weeds.
Another weed problem is soil compaction, which makes it difficult for grass to take root. Test your soil by sticking a garden fork into the ground. If the tines fail to penetrate 2 inches of soil, it’s compacted.
Once the soil has been loosened, your lawn should have better drainage. This will prevent weeds and other problems from developing in the future.
Aeration is creating small holes in your lawn to alleviate soil compaction and increase the flow of oxygen, water and nutrients to your grass roots. This enables them to dig deeper and stronger, overcoming dryness and other issues that may cause your grass to brown, fall out of color or die. Depending on the type of grass, you can aerate your lawn once or twice a year. Heavily used lawns or those growing on heavy clay soil should be aerated more frequently.
The best time to aerate is in late summer or fall, when the grass has time to recover after removing the soil plugs. Aeration can also help reduce thatch buildup, the layer of dead grass and plant material that accumulates between the soil surface and the green grass plant.
On the other hand, a landscape designer can handle the more minor but still hardscaping jobs. These individuals may use basic software or pen and paper, and have a knack for growing plants. However, most do not have a formal education and are likelier to have acquired knowledge on the job or through certification programs. The field of landscape architecture and design is extensive. It can be used to create iconic places, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, or to make smaller, more functional, outdoor spaces.