A full, green yard not only improves the look of the home but also makes a statement about the people who live there: It shows the homeowner takes the time to care for both the yard and the home itself. It does not take much money to make a yard green and beautiful, and you can make use of several items you already have in your home. Regular lawn maintenance keeps the yard looking healthy and inviting to family and friends.
Feed Your Lawn
A lush, green lawn needs regular feeding to grow and remain healthy. Fertilizer provides nutrients to the grass similar to the way food does to a person's body. You do not need to use it too often; once in spring and once in the fall will suffice. Compost is a natural fertilizer made from kitchen and garden scraps. When the vegetable peelings and yard waste break down, they turn into a nutrient-rich soil you can use directly on the grass. Apply the compost with a shovel, and work down into the roots.
Give It a Drink
No plant can survive very long without water. Do your watering early in the morning before the sun comes up and late in the evening after it goes down. The sun can burn recently watered grass just like it does people. To avoid getting burned grass, follow this watering schedule, and water for about 30 to 45 minutes at a time.
Trim the Grass
If you do not like to mow often, you may have gotten into the habit of cutting the grass extremely short, thinking it will go a longer time between mowing. This practice actually hurts your progress rather than helping it. Grass cut too short dries out sooner from the sun's heat. As a result, it turns brown. Leave the grass a little longer; the blades hold moisture and prevent the soil from drying out so quickly.
Keep the Bugs Away
Earthworms are good to have because they aerate the soil, but some other types of crawling creatures eat the roots and blades of grass and cause problems. Visit your local home and garden shop for natural insecticides that will not hurt the grass or people. If you have children or animals, avoid chemical lawn preparations for dealing with bugs.
Get Rid of Weeds
Weeds can quickly take over and choke out the grass roots by sucking up all the available water from the soil. Weeds such as dandelions have extremely long taproots that reach far down into the soil. Use a natural weed killer made from diluted shampoo. One Tbsp. per gallon of water sprayed through a hose works just fine. Take care to spray only the weeds and not the grass.
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