Enviro Masters is pleased to offer the following turf tips to help you become familiar with the challenges your lawn faces during various times of the year and what you should do to prevent or correct them.
As homeowners, we are all interested in keeping our lawns looking their best, free of unsightly weeds and destructive lawn pests. But maintaining a healthy lawn is also important to the environment.
A 50-ft by 50-ft healthy lawn provides enough daily oxygen to meet the needs of a family of four.
Grass cools naturally. Eight average-size lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning (the average home central air conditioner produces about 3 tons).
A well-managed lawn and landscape can boost the value of a home by as much as 15 per cent.
Grasses reduce undesirable noise levels by 20 to 30 per cent.
Healthy lawns absorb rainfall four to six times more effectively than farm fields. They return the moisture to the water table, where is can be used by everyone.
Weed-free lawns remove pollutants from the air, prevent water and wind erosion and the loss of precious topsoil, reduce allergens and the likelihood of insect bites and stings, absorb and reduce glare and act as a cushioned surface for outdoor activities and sports.
A healthy lawn is more than a just a thing of beauty, it is a vital living part of our environment that, with proper care, can improve the quality of life we enjoy and the cleanliness of our world.
Tips for a Greener Lawn
The following are some tips that may help you to have the kind of lawn you see in award-winning garden magazines.
Feeding – Fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant health and growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is needed for healthy green growth and regulation of other nutrients. Phosphorus helps proper roots and seeds develop and resist disease. Potassium is also important in root development and disease resistance. For the healthiest lawn, it is recommended that fertilizing be done up to four or five times a year, a healthy lawn will deter weeds. Use a quick release fertilizer if an immediate result, but not a long lasting effect, is desired. Using the quick release fertilizer will require more applications. For a long lasting result, use a slow release fertilizer.
Mowing – The best height to mow a lawn is determined by the height when mowing, but should be kept at a level of 2 to 2 1/2 inches. One-third of the height should be taken off during each cutting. When the grass is longer, bagging may be necessary to avoid an accumulation of clippings, but during the summer months, mulching is preferred as it allows the grass clippings to be recycled, providing extra nutrients for the lawn. Avoid cutting grass with dull mower blades. When the blades are dull, they shred the grass rather than cutting it. The shredded ends will then dry out giving the lawn a brownish tinge.
Watering – Watering is recommended as soon as the first signs of drought appear. It is best to water early in the day, before the sun is too intense to avoid evaporation. Avoid watering in the evening, leaving the grass wet over night and providing a perfect breeding ground for fungi. Encourage roots to grow deeper by doing a thorough watering (3-4 hours), once a week, rather than short waterings more often.
Aerating – Aerating,which should be done when the soil is moist, helps to alleviate hard, compact soils (usually clay soils). It also helps water, air and fertilizer to get to the roots and helps to break up some excess thatch.
Dethatching – Up to 1/2″ of thatch is desirable to reduce soil drying, but any more than that can provide a perfect environment for insects and fungi to infest.
Natural Insect Repellents
When trying to control the amount of insects in your lawn & garden, consider using plants that naturally repel insects. The following plants have their own chemical defense systems and, when planted among flowers an vegetables, they help to keep unwanted pests away. (This information from the US Dept. of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service)