It’s Not Easy: Growing a Lawn That Makes the Neighbors Green-Eyed

A beautiful lawn doesn't just spring up out of the ground.

By Jessica Wing

 

Everyone would love to have a beautiful green lawn, but engendering an enviable yard takes a lot of time and effort. You may find your lawn failing to measure up, suffering from seasonal extremes, and just struggling to survive – a far cry from being lush and green. But you can help your lawn to look its best with a few relatively easy steps. These tips will get your lawn through lean times of the fall and winter, leading to a healthy yard come spring!

 

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Photo by dreamstime

 

Tools needed for a healthy lawn:

 

  • A rake
  • An aerator
  • A hose  
  • A seed/fertilizer spreader
  • Fertilizer
  • Seeds for a hearty grass variety that can handle cold temperatures

 

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Photo by dreamstime

 

Want to be King of the Hill? You Still Have to Start From the Bottom

You’ll be using the spreader to scatter the fertilizer and seeds. A spreader is a good investment if you’re serious about having a beautiful lawn, and they are readily available at most home improvement/hardware stores. A push spreader is the best way to evenly cover your landscape with fertilizer. Another type of spreader is a simple hand-held bottle of fertilizer you screw onto the end of a garden hose and spray. Whichever method you use to spread fertilizer, make sure to follow the directions that came with it.

 

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Keep in mind that if you over-fertilize your yard, you’ll run the risk of burning your grass. You don’t want to accidentally kill your grass when you were just trying to nourish it! Likewise, if you are using a push spreader, be sure to rinse all the fertilizer out of it before you use it to spread seeds.

 

Aeration is of the Essence

Healthy grass has well-oxygenated roots, but sometimes roots need a little help accessing an adequate supply of air. This can be due to any number of factors, but it’s a fairly easy fix. You simply need to aerate your lawn. If you take only one step to winterize your lawn, this is the one to take.

 

Aerating your lawn is just the process of putting holes in the soil to increase its exposure to the air. You can make holes by walking around your lawn wearing spiked shoes or investing in a professional-grade aerator. If you only use spiked shoes to aerate, note that you’ll “run” the risk of missing spots or not digging deep enough holes. Whichever method of aeration you choose, it can be time-consuming, but the results will be well worth it come spring.

 

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Mind Your Biome When Buying Seed

If you’re in the process of winterizing your yard, do your research and invest in a cold weather grass seed. These will be more resilient during the colder temperatures, leading to a heartier yard when the robins finally start chirping again.

 

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Run a Comb Through It

A healthy lawn is no stranger to a rake. Raking your lawn serves several purposes. When you rake, you collect debris like dead leaves that would otherwise discourage healthy grass growth. Raking will also help to cover freshly-spread grass seeds, protecting them from birds and the elements. You can also use a rake to break up any dirt clods you come across while doing yard work.

 

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Gentle Flow for H2O

When watering your lawn, try to water it as evenly as possible. Avoid using a heavy setting on your hose. Try to keep it at a flow rate that resembles a light rain. If the force of the water is too hard, you run the risk of spraying away your seeds. And make sure you don’t overwater your lawn. This can lead to drowning your seeds and/or watering down your fertilizer too much.

 

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Having a healthy lawn can make your house the envy of the neighborhood. It will also help increase your property value. The process can be long, but the end results will be more than worth it!

 

If you'd like to find out information about backyard design, read on to Creative Ideas To Make Your Backyard a Success