A healthy lawn can increase the “curb appeal” of your home for resale and drastically improve your enjoyment of the property while you are living there.
Unfortunately, few of us have excess time to maintain a lawn or the resources to hire professional groundskeepers.
The following is a list of some of the top suggestions compiled from various professional groundskeepers, nuisance plant experts, and homeowners designed to help a busy homeowner create and maintain a beautiful lawn with minimal effort.
Start Right: Like many other problems with your home, patchwork solutions to a seriously problematic lawn can create an ongoing battle that will cost you more in the long run. While many lawns that appear lost can be saved with a little “TLC”, lawns with soil issues, rampant disease, or major hydration issues are best served by a fresh start. A new lawn can represent a significant upfront cost, but it will save you the labor, cost, and headaches of continuing problems.
Choose a grass for your environment: Humans are capable of making almost any grass thrive in almost any environment, but a grass that is either native or from a similar climate region will be able to survive your property’s environmental conditions with less care.
Irrigation and drainage: The control of water is one of the most important factors in the health of your lawn. Too little water can cause a dried, brown appearing lawn, while too much water can create pooling or soft spots in your lawn. Irrigation ranges from elaborate in-ground systems to a simple hose and sprinkler.
You should choose a system that meets the hydration needs of your lawn, your budget, and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate towards lawn care. Drainage ranges from simply grading your lawn with a slope that directs water to desired areas to elaborate systems of culverts, basins, and retention ponds.
Eliminate high-maintenance areas: Some maintenance issues in your lawn can be eliminated entirely. Tight areas that can not be reached by a mower or tractor can be covered with, mulch, gravel, or flower beds (be sure to install a black barrier under mulch or gravel to prevent weed proliferation) to reduce the need for trimming.
Steep grades can employ non-herbal erosion control instead of the grasses and plants that cause hours of hand trimming. Larger pieces of land will not need the carpet like, golf course inspired lawn that we associate with a healthy lawn for the entire property. Planting meadow grasses and wild flowers can create an aesthetically pleasing, maintenance free lawn in areas that don’t require low cut grass.
Accept diversity: Weeds are hardy plants that can survive in unfavorable conditions. One of the best ways to reduce lawn maintenance is to decide which of these survivors you are willing to tolerate. Small city plots are simpler to maintain, and urban homeowners can afford to be choosier about the plant life in their lawn. On the other hand, it is common for rural homeowners to accept even dandelions as the provider of wine, gravy, and salad greens. Making a decision about which plants you personally classify as weeds will help you choose your battles more wisely.
Annual nutrient restoration: An annual covering of “weed and feed” (available at all home supply stores) helps restore nutrients, reduce weed proliferation, and takes as little time as mowing your lawn.
Frequent and appropriate mowing: Frequent mowing is one of the most effective forms of weed control. The more you mow, the less opportunity weeds have to go to seed, cutting off the reproductive cycle of unwanted plants. You should also mow to the appropriate height for your climate. Grass should be slightly taller in hot dry areas, and mow closer for wet climates.