Every homeowner wants to make their patch of lawn shine like an emerald and for good reason. Not only is a thick, lush lawn aesthetically pleasing but green spaces are good for your health, wellness and budget.
Studies have shown lawns having a cooling effect on your home – eight average front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning – and planting shade trees around your home can lower attic temperatures by up to 40 degrees and reduce air conditioning costs.
Green spaces add to the enjoyment of your home and neighborhood, and that is why Project EverGreen asked the lawn care specialists at Weed Man for tips on how to make your lawn the best it can be this spring.
Here are three tips for planting, feeding and letting your lawn breath this spring:
1.) Planting the Seed for Your Lawn
Overseeding – the practice of sowing additional seed over existing grass to bolster and restore your lawn – should be part of every homeowner’s spring lawn care to-do list.
Overseeding is necessary since, over time, the individual grass blades on your lawn weaken and perish with age, thus making it more vulnerable to disease, insects and weeds. Areas in your yard which are harmed by anything from extreme temperatures to heavy foot traffic also benefit from overseeding. It helps reestablish a lawn’s strong foundation, and progressively improves the overall health and appearance.
Spring is a good time to overseed your lawn when there is frequent rainfall followed by warm days that promote seed growth. Affected patches of lawn should be well raked before to overseeding, in order to remove dead grass and loosen the soil. This promotes the new seed’s growth by providing additional aeration and drainage for water.
2.) Feeding Your Lawn to Be Its Best
If you want your lawn to look and feel its best, you need to feed it the proper diet of water and nutrients. Of the more than 100 known elements, 16 are essential plant nutrients. The three most important to plants are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen; which plants get from air, water and the organic matter in the soil.
Three key plant nutrients your lawn needs to have a consistent dose of include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you look at a fertilizer bag, you will see three numbers on the front, for instance, 25-4-9. These numbers tell you the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (in that order) in the fertilizer.
Different kinds of fertilizers are used for different situations. A fertilizer high in phosphorus will help a newly-seeded lawn develop. A fertilizer with a greater percentage of nitrogen can be used to promote growth in an established lawn.
It’s not enough just to know the amount of nutrients. You’ll also need to know what kind of nitrogen is in the fertilizer. Weed Man slow-release nitrogen is coated with Sulphur, so that the nitrogen is only available to the plant when soil bacteria have broken down the Sulphur coating. This process is gradual, so the slow release nitrogen provides nutrients to the plants over a period of about eight weeks.
3.) The Ins and Outs of Aeration
The benefits of aeration to your lawn cannot be stressed enough. This service reduces soil compaction, excessive thatch, and provides a top dressing for the lawn. By breaking up compaction and removing excess thatch, the infiltration of fertilizer nutrients, sunlight and air down into the soil is greatly improved. With this improved movement of needed elements, root growth is stimulated.
The grass plant can access and store more nutrients and water necessary to improve its health and stress tolerance, which will directly benefit the lawn’s health during demanding periods in summer where heat and drought can take its toll. Aerating provides several valuable benefits to your lawn including:
• Strengthening the root system and having the roots shoot deeper, which helps the lawn prepare for summer’s heat and dry conditions.
• It allows water and fertilizer to penetrate deeper into the soil where it does the most good.
• Microbial activity increases in the lawn which helps reduce thatch.
• The plugs left behind after aeration will decompose and further fertilize the lawn.
For more information on Project EverGreen’s programs that promote the economic, social and lifestyle benefits of managed green spaces, visit www.ProjectEverGreen.org
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