When it comes to lawn care, you need to understand and remember some basic things first. As you take care of your turf and stay on top of its regular maintenance, you will get to know it better and apply what you learned.
To help you achieve and maintain the lawn you want, we have a list of 20 lawn care tips to keep your lawn looking beautiful and vibrant.
This list includes lawn care tips on watering, mowing, fertilising and other things you need to know to take better care of your lawn.
Now if your lawn is just beyond repair and there is just no chance of bringing it back to life, check out our Instant Lawn Hobart Services page here.
Get to Know Your Grass
Know your grass type
Not all grass is created equal. There are so many lawn types and varieties, and each has its own specific needs.
Knowing your lawn grass means finding out whether it is a cool-season or warm-season grass. You need to consider this because different grasses have different dormancy periods or conditions.
This critical information is necessary when we get to the following tips as well.
Know your grass specie
It is not enough to only know whether your lawn grass is cool-season or warm-season. Even grass of the same season will have different needs.
Knowing your lawn grass species is essential so that you can use the right type of lawn care products and understand the needs of your turf.
For example, Bermuda and Zoysia are both warm-season grasses, but they have different tolerance to shade. The Zoysia can tolerate shade, but Bermuda could not.
Knowing exactly the type of grass, you have in your lawn will save you a lot of time, money, and effort in lawn care. Tips like these on our list could be applied more effectively if you know your grass well.
Watering is one of the most basic needs of any plant. No lawn care tip will ever be complete without the basics about watering.
While some grass may be more drought tolerant, it is still essential to know when and how you should water them.
Keep on top of your lawn’s water needs. Grass that went through extended periods of drought could wither and dry. You may see patches of bald spots if the grass does not receive enough water for extended periods.
Keep in mind your specific grass’ needs when it comes to water. Some lawn grass needs more water than others. If your grass is drought-tolerant, you may not need to water as often.
Some grass may only need water once a week, and most may need it twice a week depending on the weather.
Be mindful of water restrictions in your area to adjust your watering accordingly.
The right amount of water
If too little water is bad, then so is too much water. Most lawn grass will need about 2.5 to 4 cm of water each week.
The best way to do this is to water deeply and less frequently. Instead of lightly showering your lawn every day, it is better to water it once or twice a week until you meet the right amount.
If you water too little at a time, the soil and the roots may not even have the chance to absorb it before it evaporates. If you water deeply, the ground will be kept moist for longer periods.
To make sure that you are giving your lawn enough water, measure how much water it receives for a specific time. You can do this by placing a rain measuring cup in the middle of your lawn while the sprinklers are on.
Take note of how long it will take for the water to reach the required level in the cup. That will indicate how long you need to keep your irrigation on until your lawn is adequately watered.
Right time of the day to water
Most recommend watering your lawn in the morning when it is cooler. Any time before 10 am is ideal.
If you water when it is too hot, the water may evaporate before it gets into the soil.
Later in the afternoon is fine, but make sure that the lawn does not stay wet through the night. Wet grass at night makes it susceptible to fungal growth and other lawn diseases.
Some homeowners wonder why certain spots on their lawn are not as healthy as the rest. They know they follow lawn care tips down to the letter and yet some parts of their lawn are struggling.
If the irrigation or sprinkler system is not installed correctly, some areas of the lawn may miss some watering. You may notice some irregular pattern of dead or dying grass that appear especially around the edges of the turf as a result of drought.
Check if your irrigation system covers all areas of the lawn. Make sure that the edge of one sprinkler overlaps with the next one. If some parts of the grass do not receive enough water, adjust your system accordingly.
Freshly cut grass always looks better than overgrown and uneven turf.
Mow your lawn at least once a week. If you keep on top of mowing, it will encourage your grass to grow stronger.
Frequent mowing promotes a more robust growth of rhizomes and stolon. It also encourages bushier growth.
Regular mowing will also prevent weeds from seeding and propagating all over the turf.
Keep your grass at the proper length
Going back to the lawn care tips #1 and #2, knowing your grass specie is crucial for this. Each kind requires different heights for optimal health and growth.
Here is a list of the recommended length for some grass varieties:
|5.0 – 8.0 cm
|0.6 – 2.0 cm
|1.25 – 3.5 cm
|5.0 – 8.0 cm
|3.5 – 6.5 cm
|3.0 – 5.0 cm
|3.5 – 6.5 cm
|3.5 – 6.5 cm
|2.0 – 3.0 cm
|3.5 – 6.5 cm
|Sir Grange Zoysia
|1.0 – 5.0 cm
|Sir Walter Buffalo
|3.0 – 5.0 cm
|5.0 – 10.0 cm
|5.0 – 8.0 cm
|TifTuf Hybrid Bermuda
|1.0 – 3.0 cm
|1.25 – 3.5 cm
Rule of thirds in mowing
When it comes to lawn maintenance, the rule of thirds refers to how much grass you should cut in one session of mowing.
While you need to keep your lawn grass at a certain height to keep it healthy, do not cut more than one-third of its length at a time.
Experts recommend that you should never cut more than one-third of the grass in one session because it will create too much stress on the grass.
If your grass is overgrown, do not cut it to its recommended height all at once. You may need to mow several times and cut off only a third each time. Give your grass a few days in between each mowing session until you achieve its recommended length.
Get the right lawnmower
Mowing will always be a regular part of lawn maintenance. You need to do it at least once or twice a week to keep a lush, green lawn that is why getting the equipment that works well for you will pay off.
Consider your terrain and physical needs to operate the mower. Some types need to be pushed, and others do not. There are even mowers you can ride, which is useful if you have a large yard.
Some mowers have other additional special features which you do not necessarily need but might be nice to have.
There are lawn mowers that mulch the grass as you cut, making it easier to put the cuttings back into the lawn.
Some lawn mowers have a catcher, making it easy to collect the grass you mowed.
Look for a type and model that you are comfortable using. Having the right mower will make cutting the grass so much more enjoyable for you.
Mulch your cuttings
After lawn mowing, you want to keep the cuttings and mulch them before putting them back onto your lawn.
Mulch helps keep moisture in the soil and brings back the nutrients that the grass contains.
However, there are times when you do not want to put the cut grass back:
- Do not mulch if there are weeds and weed seeds
If the lawn has weeds, dispose of the cuttings because they might contain lawn weeds. You might spread the weeds’ seeds if you mulch the cuttings.
- Do not mulch if there is a lawn disease
Do not put back the grass you cut if your lawn has some fungus or other disease to avoid making the problem worse.
- Do not mulch if you have pests
Some lawn pests, such as two-spotted mites stay and lay their eggs on the underside of the grass blades.
If your lawn is infested with these mites, then it is best to dispose of the cuttings properly to avoid reintroducing the insects and eggs to your yard.
Part of lawn maintenance is to make sure that your grass is well-fed. Here are some lawn care tips for keeping your lawn healthy through fertilisation.
Have your soil tested
This is an optional lawn care tip, but if you can, have your soil tested to see if its nutrients are balanced, and it is at the proper pH level required by your lawn grass.
Knowing for sure what your soil needs will make it easier for you to choose the best kind of fertiliser.
Choose the right product
This is where it can get tricky. You cannot simply go to a local garden supply store and grab anything that says “fertiliser” or “lawn feed.”
The type of product you need depends on the type of grass and the condition it is in at the moment.
There are many different types of fertilisers, and they contain different nutrients at different amounts. Some come in liquid form, while others are granulated.
Other fertilisers are slow-release, and then some are fast-acting. Some are organic, and others are synthetic,
Find out precisely what your particular turf needs. If you are a total beginner, it will help to consult with local lawn care specialists for guidance.
The right season to apply fertiliser
For general lawn maintenance, fertilising once a year may be enough, usually in early spring.
However, some recommend a more frequent application of fertiliser, about three to four times a year to maintain your lawn.
More frequent application of fertiliser means feeding your lawn every three to four months, or about once each season.
As mentioned above, find out exactly what your lawn needs so that you do not waste time and money in case your lawn does not require too frequent feeding.
Proper application of fertiliser
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, especially with strong chemicals.
You will probably need a little math to follow the correct ratio and application of the fertiliser you chose. There are also recommended methods to apply them.
Liquid fertilisers need a sprayer, while granulated fertilisers need to be applied through drop spreaders or broadcast spreaders. You can also spread fertilisers by hand.
Practice safety and proper handling of fertiliser
Take proper precautions when handling chemicals like fertilisers. Wear personal protective equipment or PPE to keep you from inhaling the chemical or touching your skin or getting into your eyes
Other Lawn Care Essentials
Soil aeration is necessary for lawn maintenance. If there are no issues such as excessive thatching or compaction, you may aerate your soil once a year.
Usually, the soil needs to be aerated before the application of fertilisers and topsoil, so channels are created for better absorption of nutrients.
You can either use spike aerators or coring. Some chemicals can aid in soil aeration. More on coring your lawn here.
Thatching on the lawn is not an issue until it gets too thick—more than 1.5cm. Thick thatch prevents the grass from getting nutrients from the air and prevent water from going to the soil and roots.
Thatching can also harbour lawn pests and lawn diseases.
To dethatch your lawn, you can use garden forks or rakes. If you have a bigger lawn, you can rent a dethatcher to make the work lighter. More on dethatching your lawn here.
Control Lawn Pests
A healthy lawn can fight off pests and survive an infestation. However, if the pests overwhelm the grass, you will need to apply pesticides to control them.
Be vigilant and observe your lawn for signs of infestation. Look for an increase in bird activity or the presence of more moths and other bugs.
Find out exactly what kind of lawn pests you have so that you can use the correct product. You can also seek the help of your local lawn care specialists to help identify the lawn pests and give you advice on how to control them. More on common lawn pests here.
Keep on top of weeds
Just as a healthy lawn can fight off pests, it can also fight off weeds. Keep your lawn as healthy as possible, and you may not have to worry about lawn weeds.
If some weeds to appear, remove them at once. You can walk about and see if there is any unwanted vegetation present.
It is better to remove a weed or two once in a while rather than waiting for them to take over your yard. More on common lawn weeds here.