Putting the Brawn in Your Lawn

Have you been at your home for some years and you still haven’t figured out the secret behind getting your lawn in shape? Is your stale lawn diminishing the curb appeal of your home? What if you can’t afford lawncare and would prefer to do it yourself?

Well today I want to give you a leg up on your neighbors by giving you some very practical tools you can apply to your lawn care regime. Hopefully these tools can unlock some insight and show you that the grass really can be greener on the other side. Well, hopefully on all sides.

Alfred D. Chandler Jr. said, “Unless structure follows strategy, inefficiency results.”

Your lawn is virtually no different. Growing up, my family always lived in a house with a very pervasive lawn that I think my Dad secretly enjoyed making my brothers and I keep it cut. I always hated the smell of fresh cut grass so I personally wanted nothing to do with it. It wasn’t until I became a first time homeowner myself that I had to be responsible for keeping hedges moderately low or my lawn presentable. I tended to the hedges, but I didn’t care about my lawn. Or at least until I started inviting guests over. My Dad came over for my housewarming and bought me a commercial mower, but he actually used it to cut my lawn for me that day. I was so embarrassed and that made me take some initiative.

commercial mower

Behold the Mighty Aerator

I’m naturally competitive in practically everything I do and one of my neighbors was turning the soil over because they have a garden in their yard. I saw him using an aerator or what looked like a giant paint roller with ninja stars in the center. I went to Home Depot and they only had a gas powered aerator. The lawn care technician told me that they’re great for making sure the grass gets oxygen, nutrients and water. Aerators can be used all year-round, but they work best in the Spring and Fall seasons when root growth is usually at its highest. I also discovered they’re great for removing clumps of soil that may be preventing your lawn from growing.

Hold the H20!

I remember when my Mom came to my house and accused me of overwatering my plants. Sometimes I would over water them because I would forget to do it some days, but she came over with several water bottles. She filled them up and placed them upside down in each flower pot and told me that the plant knows best. I was creeped out at first when I would hear mysterious sips throughout the house, but I learned it was the plants taking their drinks. Grass is the same way! Most people water their grass out of obligation. They’ll turn on their sprinklers, take a nap, and forget all about it. Only water the lawn when it shows signs of drought or when you see your kids footprints in the turf for nearly two weeks. It’s best to water less frequently for longer periods of time.

Compost is your Friend

Screened compost is a great tool for developing healthy grass because it enhances soil structure, lessens soil compaction, and restores all the helpful bacteria and fungi needed for a balanced lawn. It’s a very natural fertilizer that you can make yourself when you dispose of old fruits and vegetables. Another goodie you can use is corn gluten meal. It’s rich in nitrogen, acts as an organic fertilizer and stops weed seeds from sprouting.

Disrupt the Pattern!

Lawn can be trained just like hair and when we mow or brush the lawn in the same direction, the lawn lays in that direction. It creates inflexibility and rigidity in the lawn. Switching up your mowing patterns creates a balanced even playing field. Also be sure you’re mowing when the lawn is dry. Wet grass can easily clog your mower decks and then you have a dicey situation on your hands, literally.

Water Deeply, but Infrequently

Watering our grass very often trains our lawn to develop shallow root systems. Shallow root systems tend to bring more weeds and make the grass more liable for erosion and imbalance. Experiment with maybe once or twice a week for about twenty minutes and gauge your lawn. Making your lawn a priority doesn’t mean overwatering it. You probably wouldn’t deep cleanse your face seven days a week so lets treat our lawn like skin. We don’t want to drown or clog our pores. We just need to ensure they have the moisture they require, and they will restore themselves more naturally with deep and healthy root systems as time progresses. Capiche? Now go grow some lawn!