A beautiful lawn is the dream of many homeowners, but it is hard to know where to begin. If you’re new to lawn care, it’s intimidating trying to figure out what needs to be done and when. Fortunately, we have some beginner lawn care tips to help you get your lawn care journey started. From choosing the right grass type for your climate to developing a regular maintenance schedule, following these beginner lawn care tips will have your yard looking lush and green in no time!

Beginner Lawn Care Tips

Mowing Height and Frequency

The first of our beginner lawn care tips has to do with mowing your lawn.  It’s best to mow your lawn when it reaches 2.5 to 3.5 inches tall.  Trimming your grass when it is too short damages it and makes it more susceptible to pests and diseases. Waiting too long between mowing makes it difficult to deal with the excessive amount of clippings.  If you are a beginner, then you should only mow your lawn every 1 to 2 weeks. This allows enough time for the grass to properly grow in between.

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How Much To Water

Water your lawn with about 1 to 2 inches of water per week. The best time to water is in the early morning, and never water your grass at night.  In the morning, water evaporates less than during the hotter temperatures later in the day.  That means more water will get to the roots of the grass before evaporation takes over. Remember that you can subtract how much it rains from the 1 to 2 inches of water your lawn needs each week.  Be careful not to water too much.  If your lawn is left in a constant state of dampness, then the roots of the grass will begin to rot.  Watering too little is problematic as well. Underwatered grass will not grow properly and may eventually die.

Aerating

Core aerators are the proven best method of aerating your lawn.  If you want a healthy lawn, then we recommend aerating about once a year.  Core aerator benefits include allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grassroots.  All of these benefits contribute to a healthy lawn. Also, core aeration alleviates compaction, lessens thatch, and improves drainage.  Core aerators vary in price depending on the size and features. They typically range from $100 to $1,000 depending on whether you want a manual aerator or a machine.

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Overseeding

Overseeding is our next beginner lawn care tip.  For homeowners, overseeding your lawn is an important task that helps keep your lawn looking green and lush. When done correctly, it can give you a beautiful lawn in no time. It’s important to understand the basics of overseeding before you get started.  Overseeding is the process of adding new grass seed to an existing lawn. This helps fill in any bare spots or thinning areas. Overseeding is especially beneficial if you have a Bermuda or Zoysia grass lawn because these turf varieties are known for being prone to thinning.

When should you overseed your lawn? The best time to do this depends on what type of grass you have in your yard. For cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass or fescues, the ideal time to overseed is in the late summer or early fall when soil temperatures are still warm but nights are starting to cool down. For warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia, springtime is usually the best time for overseeding.

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Fertilizing

Using a slow-release fertilizer is the best method of fertilizing a lawn. The right application rate is important. A rate of 1 to 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet is recommended. The frequency of use is every 6 to 8 weeks. Slow-release fertilizer provides a consistent supply of nutrients to plants over a long duration of time. It is found at most garden centers or online retailers.  The slow-release varieties of fertilizer may cost more, but it is a better investment long term. When a slow-release fertilizer is not used, nutrients are released too quickly. This burns the roots of your plants.

Slow-release Fertilizer

Slow-release fertilizer is a type of fertilizer that is released into the soil over an extended period of time. This type of fertilizer is often applied as a granular material that slowly releases its nutrients into the soil. Slow-release fertilizers are used to provide a steady supply of nutrients to plants over a long period of time, reducing the need for frequent reapplication.

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Removing Weeds

Lawn weeds are any plants growing on a lawn that are not part of the desired species or are growing in places where they are not wanted. Common lawn weeds include dandelions, crabgrass, clover, plantain, and thistle.

It is also possible for weeds to take hold if the lawn isn’t mowed regularly.

Stand-up weeders are the best method of removing weeds from your lawn. We recommend going over your lawn with a weeder at least once every 1 to 2 weeks.  This is the most efficient, effective, and safe way to control weeds.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mulch flower beds around trees?

Layers of straw or hay are best when mulching around flower beds and trees. Recommended mulch layer thickness is 2 to 4 inches. Mulching with straw protects your plants from cold winter weather. Mulching with hay insulates plants while keeping them warm. Hay also keeps soil moist while preventing roots from freezing. Not using straw or hay entails certain risks. Other materials don’t provide the same level of protection from the elements. They also don’t break down as quickly. This leads to the building-up of debris on your garden beds. Buying straw is common at most hardware and gardening stores. Acquiring hay is available at most feed stores.

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