Have a Perfect Lawn in 3 Steps
Having the perfect lawn may seem like an impossible dream, but when it comes right down to it, there are only three important steps: Proper watering, feeding and mowing. If you regularly take care of all three, you’ll be surprised at the difference.
Your lawn needs about 2.5 cm of water per week, divided into two equal watering sessions. You may need to apply a little more during hot weather, but avoid daily waterings, as frequent, shallow irrigation results in short roots and places your lawn at risk of insects and disease. Deep watering, on the other hand, encourages deep root growth and healthier grass.
If you aren’t sure how much water you’re applying, place a couple of tuna or pet food cans under the sprinkler, then determine how long it takes to fill the cans to the level of about 1.25 cm. If you tend to forget and leave the sprinkler running too long, timers are relatively expensive and will simplify the process.
You may be tempted to set your mower on a low setting so you don’t have to mow as often, but this is a big mistake. Set the mower to one of the top two settings and never remove more than one-third of the height at any one time. Cutting too short, or “scalping,” is very harmful for your lawn.
Leave the clippings on the lawn when you mow. As they decompose, they return nutrients to the soil.
Water your lawn only when it’s dry. Be sure to sharpen your mower blade annually, or more often if your yard has a lot of thick brush or rocks.
Feed your lawn twice yearly, in spring and fall. Use a high-quality lawn food with an NPK ratio such as 30:0:3, which is high in nitrogen as indicated by the first number in the ratio. If weeds have been a problem, try a bio-weed and feed lawn food instead.
In fall, a product with a ratio such as 12-0-18 will help your lawn build resistance for the cold winter ahead.
Always water deeply after fertilizing, or plan to feed your lawn just before a rain.