Submitted by: Leon Groom
You want the perfect lawn: green, lush grass free of weeds and anthills; thick, plush grass for your children to play on and for your friends and neighbors to gather on while you grill burgers for a weekend get together. What you don t want is to pay someone hundreds or even thousands of dollars to make your lawn perfect. It s just a lawn, right? How hard can it be? Have faith, growing the perfect lawn is within your grasp, you CAN do this yourself, if you re willing to put in a little time, a little effort, and yes, a little money.
The first thing you need to do is figure out what your lawn s problem is. If you live in an older home, with an older lawn, your lawn may be trying to grow on a thick layer of thatch, which is not going to yield a lush lawn. You need your grass to be growing in soil. If you have a lot of thatch, you may need to use a sod cutter to completely remove it. Otherwise, you may be able to get it up with a hard rake. At any rate, you want to get to soil. The best time to dethatch (and then reseed) is the fall, though you can also do it in the spring.
Once you are ready to plant, you can take advantage of turf technology that has been developed over the years. Check with a garden center or your local cooperative extension. Whatever your issue, there is likely a seed that will mitigate it. If you have lots of insects, try a type of grass that is infestation resistant. This doesn t mean you won t have any insects in your yard (which actually wouldn t be good for your lawn), just that they will be fewer and farther between. Likewise, you can find grass seed that will most likely thrive in your type of soil, such as sandy or clay. Be aware that your soil may differ from others in your area, so check out your own lawn (and the dirt underneath) as well as checking on local conditions from your garden center. Developers sometimes will sell topsoil when they clear land for building, and may have exposed a different type of soil than the area s common topsoil.
Once your new lawn is growing, maintain it by mowing it frequently, but high, so it doesn t burn out easily or require too frequent waterings. Water your lawn occasionally if you aren t getting rain. This should be done with a sprinkler, with a low flow of water over a long period, rather than a quick deluge. That way, the water will sink into the ground better, and your grass roots will chase it, becoming more sturdy.
About the Author: Leon Groom writes about
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