The professional lawn care services provided by your local K-Lawn® lawn care specialist will help you build a beautiful, healthy lawn. You won't need to wonder what fertilizers to use or when to use them. You won't need to worry about how to deal with weeds or insects. And you definitely won't have to expose yourself to the chemicals involved.
To help keep your lawn looking great, we've provided additional lawn care tips that you'll find helpful in maintaining your lawn.
Annual aeration of your soil will help build a healthy, beautiful lawn. Aerating, or core cultivation, opens a path for air, water and nutrients to reach the root level of the turf and helps control thatch. Recommended prior to fertilizer application in early spring or late fall
Building Stronger Root Systems
Aeration will create pockets in the soil to help deliver air, water and nutrients to the turf roots. The root system of the lawn actually grows toward these pockets, filling them in to become deeper and stronger. And the healthier the roots, the thicker and healthier the lawn. Fall is the best time to aerate your lawn, but it can also be done in the spring.
Making the Most of Thatch
Thatch is a layer of dead vegetation that builds up on lawns at the surface of the soil. While a small amount of thatch is healthy for your lawn, an excess of thatch can be harmful. Power raking your lawn is not recommended for removing thatch, and caution should be taken if doing so, because it can kill your lawn. A better way to control thatch, the process of aeration will remove plugs of soil from your lawn and place them above the thatch level. This process will actually speed up the decomposition of thatch as the soil blends back into the earth, taking the natural nutrients of decomposing thatch with it.
Cultivating Your Soil
When soil is compacted, the root system cannot grow deep. Aeration will soften up the soil, allowing it to breathe. Turf roots will be able to grow deeper and spread to fill in thinner areas of your lawn. For more information on aeration, please feel free to contact your local K-Lawn® Lawn Care Specialist.
Key Benefits of Aeration:
- Aeration opens a path for air, water and nutrients to reach the root level of the turf and helps control thatch.
- Aeration pockets give roots space to grow thick and deep, helping to build a stronger root system for your lawn.
- Aeration helps return decomposing thatch and its natural nutrients back into your soil.
- Aeration mellows your soil so roots grow and spread to fill in thinner areas of lawns.
- Aeration promotes a thick and lush lawn.
Lawn Mowing Tips
Proper mowing is essential to a beautiful lawn, and contrary to popular belief, leaving your clippings on the lawn is actually healthy for it. Clippings will return nutrients to the lawn. They do not add to thatch levels, so it is best to let your clippings filter down.
The Hidden Nutrients in Grass Clippings
Grass clippings are 75 to 80% water and contain up to 25% of the fertilizer applied to lawns. Clippings quickly break down, returning moisture and nutrients to the soil. It only makes sense to allow the clippings to recycle into the lawn, where they can decompose. Those returning nutrients build greener and healthier lawns.
Understanding Thatch Levels
Thatch is a layer of dead vegetation that builds up on lawns at the surface of the soil. While a small amount of thatch is healthy for your lawn, an excess of thatch can be problematic. But thatch is primarily made up of roots and stems. Most people don't realize that grass clippings do not add to thatch levels, as clippings decompose very quickly. Bagging and removing your grass clippings will not reduce your thatch level. For controlling thatch levels, see: aerating lawns.
The Right Height for Your Lawn
The length of your lawn is determined from the top of the thatch level to the top of the grass blade, and maintaining a taller blade length will help keep your lawn and root system healthy. Taller lawns reduce evaporation and help prevent weeds by shading your soil. Your lawn will stay greener when it's kept at the right height. That exact height will vary by grass type, but you should never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. For more information, ask your local K-Lawn lawn care specialist about the right height for your lawn.
The food producing part of your lawn is in the grass blade, and if you set your mower blade too low... you run the risk of damaging the plant. Scalping of this nature will cause your lawn to turn brown, restricts root growth and may run the risk of weed & disease problems.
How Often Should Your Lawn Be Mowed?
After determining the right height of your lawn, you'll need to adjust your mowing frequency to maintain that height. Lawn growth is effected by a variety of conditions, such as the season, grass type, irrigation frequency and the temperature. If possible, adapt your mowing schedule to your lawn's needs. During early spring and mid summer growing periods, you may need to mow more than once a week.
Using & Maintaining Your Lawn Mower
There are a number of good mowers on the market. It is preferable to use a mulching mower, so that clippings can be left on the lawn. Whatever mower you use, it is most important to keep your mower blade sharp. A dull, rough blade will damage the plant leaf and cause browning in lawns. Have your blade sharpened several times a year. Adjusting your mower deck height throughout the summer is equally as important. Remember, as temperatures rise, so should your mowing height. Early spring mowing can be lower to ‘clean up’ from the previous winter, but avoid scalping. Late fall mowing heights can be lowered as temperatures cool.
Points to Remember About Lawn Mowing:
- Grass clippings left on the lawn are good for it, returning moisture and nutrients to your lawn
- As temperatures rise, so should your mowing height.
- Determine the right height for your lawn, removing only 1/3 of the leaf blade.
- Mow your lawn as often as needed to maintain its determined height.
- Use a mulcher with sharp mower blades to keep your lawn healthy
Your turf plant is 75-80% water by weight, so it's no surprise that watering is crucial to developing a beautiful lawn. When your lawn starts to look a little blue, or you can start to see footprints... it's time to water.
The Best Time for Watering
It's best to water your lawn in the early morning, between 4 - 8am, while wind and evaporation losses are low. Night watering should be avoided if possible, because it increases the chances of disease problems in your lawn. Plants should be dry, prior to nightfall to help prevent disease.
How Often and How Much?
You should always base watering on the needs of the plant, and you'll want to make sure that you're adjusting watering schedules accordingly. Your lawn should be watered as thoroughly as possible every 5 to 7 days. Deep soaking will help develop a strong root system for your lawn. Lawn sprinklers or your underground sprinkler system should cover the entire lawn area.
You need to find a happy balance that's right for your lawn. Over-watering lawns will result in a shallow root system, and under-watering lawns will result in dead or brown grass. The best way to determine the proper amount of water for your lawn is to discuss it with your K-Lawn® lawn care specialist.
Points to Remember About Watering:
- Your turf plant is 75-80% water by weight, so watering is crucial to developing a healthy lawn.
- The best watering times are between 4 - 8am, while wind and evaporation losses are low.
- Night watering should be avoided to help prevent disease.
- Watering should be based on the needs of the plant.
- Lawns should be watered thoroughly, as needed, every 5-7 days.
- Deep soaking helps develop a strong root system in lawns.
- Make sure your sprinklers cover the entire lawn area.