Achieving a picture perfect green lawn may seem like an impossible task. However, with the right tools and know-how, a beautiful lawn is attainable!
- Do a soil test. A soil test kit can be bought online or in-store at Lowe’s, Walmart, or Home Depot. Doing a soil test can help you to identify what problems you may have with your lawn and help you to identify the appropriate solutions. This will prevent you from over fertilizing.
- Choose the right grass for you. When choosing a type of grass, there are several factors you need to take into consideration: climate, amount of sun, traffic on the lawn, surrounding plants, and incline. Some grasses that are well suited for Michigan include: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rough Bluegrass, Fine-Leaved Fescues, and Perennial Ryegrasses. Having a grass that is suited to Michigan and your lawn will reduce the amount of lawn care needed.
- Change your mowing habits. Cutting your grass short actually harms its health. It causes surface roots to become exposed, the soil to dry out faster, and for surface aeration to be reduced. Ideally, you should not cut of more than one-third of the grass at any one time. Most grasses are healthiest at 2.5” to 3.5” tall. Additionally, when your lawn is finished growing for the season, cut it a little shorter to around 2” to minimize the risk of mold build-up during the winter.
- Water longer and less often. Rather than watering often and in small amounts, lawns do better when watered less frequently and in larger amounts. This watering style encourages your grass to develop deep root systems, which makes your lawn hardier and more drought-resistant. A good rule of thumb when watering is to “Let the lawn dry out before re-watering; as a rule of thumb, the color should dull and footprints should stay compressed for more than a few seconds.” When watering, put a cup in the sprinkler zone; it should get at least one inch (2.5cm) water. Another tip is to water in the morning to less water is lost to evaporation. It is also important to note that different types of grass require varying periods of time between watering. 12-21 Days: Bahia grass, Buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, Centipede grass. 8-12 Days: Carpet grass, Fine fescue, Kikuyu grass, Seashore paspalum, Tall fescue, Zoysia. 5-7 Days: Ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, Bentgrass.