Many lawn owners face the problem of not having a well-rooted lawn; this actually prevents their lawn from looking lush and beautiful.
According to Duke Nicholas School of the Environment, 40.5 million acres of American land is covered with lawns and a total of $30 billion is spent taking care of them.
However, spending too much money on a lawn does not necessarily mean you’re taking great care of it. In fact, you may be preventing it from getting the right nourishment.
Many lawn owners make the mistake of using too many chemical fertilizers and pesticides that wreak havoc on the lawn’s roots. Cutting grass too short and watering it the wrong way can also cause roots to grow weak prematurely.
The very reason we’ve written this article is to help you avoid all these mistakes. We’ve also gathered some of the best habits successful lawn owners practice to keep their lawn lush and weed-free, without spending too much money or time on their lawn.
Here are 5 secrets to a well-rooted lawn:
1. Grow According to Your Regional Conditions
Depending on where you live, you need to determine what grass type best suits the environment and climate of your region.
For example, if you’re living out in the North, you should grow a ‘cool season’ grass. There’s a whole variety available, but the most common ones are ryegrass, fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass.
On the other hand, if you’re living in the South, it’s quite the opposite; you would ideally want to grow ‘warm season’ grass such as St. Augustine, Zoysia or Bermuda.
You should also take notice of how much sunlight your region gets. If it tends to be a little on the shady side, go for fescue or St. Augustine. If you live in a bright region that’s rife with sunlight, it’s best to grow Bermuda or Kentucky bluegrass.
2. Prevent Weed Seeds from Sprouting
Corn gluten meal is the best way to prevent weed seeds from sprouting. This also helps in strengthening the roots of your lawn and giving it a beautiful green glow.
How exactly does that happen?
Well, corn gluten meal is an all natural, byproduct of corn starch, which stops new weeds from growing and weakens the old ones by releasing naturally occurring nitrogen very slowly ― allowing the grass to nurture more fruitfully. It’s the perfect alternative to using harsh chemicals that not only prove deadly for the roots but also very harmful to people and pets that come into contact with the grass.
3. Cut Your Grass the Right Way
Most people think that cutting grass WAY too short allows it to grow better. However, that’s not the case. In fact, all you’re doing is weakening the roots of your lawn.
Cutting grass isn’t like cutting trees. Here’s what you should know:
When you mow your lawn more often, cutting it too short, it forces the grass to grow super-fast, absorbing unnecessary nutrients from the roots and sod, so that it can replace the solar collectors you’ve cut recently. This paves the way for your roots growing weaker, which in fact, allows weeds to thrive and grow along with loose flora.
It’s better to cut your grass ONLY when it’s needed, and you should never cut it shorter than two inches at a time.
For cold season grass, however, you might want to leave an inch higher than two-inches. This allows the grass to grow better since it’s not utilizing too many nutrients on growing super fast, nor is it overworking to replace those solar collectors.
This results in a lush and greener-looking lawn. It also forms DEEP roots that prevent weeds from growing. Dr. Nick Christian explains that fescue grass that’s been cut two inches high will have 18-inch deep roots. However, it doesn’t mean the longer the height is, the better. You should know that growing grass longer than its recommended length will prevent roots from deepening further ― due to the obvious reason that your lawn houses a limited amount of nutrients.
4. Feeding it Right
You should know that every grass type has its unique feeding regimen that shouldn’t be disrupted; otherwise, it could cause roots to weaken.
If you have cool season grass in your lawn, you should know that they require a BIG feeding in the fall season, a lighter one in spring and no feeding at all in summer (or hot climate for that matter). The exact opposite applies for warm-season grass.
However, if you mulch your lawn and leave the nitrogen-rich clips on the turf, it’s recommended to feed your grass less. The only time you need to feed more is when you collect the clips for other uses.
5. Water Correctly
Where there is water, there is life. The same can be said for your lawn. You need to know that every lawn, no matter how big or small, needs at least an inch of water every week. Sprinkling more or less than that will result in shallower roots.
It’s best to use a rain gauge to apply an inch of water all at once on a lawn that’s growing in clay soil. However, if you have a sandy-soiled lawn, break it up into two, ¾ inch-deep watering cycles per week.
The amount of water you use also depends on the climate of your region and what kind of grass you have on your lawn. For example, Kentucky bluegrass is always thirsty for more water, whereas Bermuda grass isn’t as demanding.
It’s always best to water your lawn in the morning, and you should NEVER water it in the evening. All you’re doing is giving an open invitation to grass-devouring diseases to feast on your lawn.
Get in touch with an expert if you have more questions. At Le Perv we believe that if you take care of your lawn through ways we have highlighted above, you will have a well-rooted lawn that not only looks lush on the outside but also grows stronger on the inside.