A gardener's dream is a lush green lawn and a healthy flower, vegetable, herb or fruit garden beside it. Even though that may not seem like a lot to ask for, in some climates it is the ultimate challenge. Additional care besides the basics creates all the difference for your lawn and garden, such as consistent fertilizing, keeping weeds under control and testing your soil to make sure that it is not lacking any nutrients.
Don't Shy Away From Fertilizer
Fertilizer is intimidating to some gardeners and homeowners, but this product shouldn't be if it is properly used. One of the most confusing things about fertilizer may be knowing how much to use and when to apply it. For your lawn, fertilizer (specific to your grass variety and region) should be applied four times per year to keep your lawn at its best performance year-round. Starting in spring season, apply fertilizer to promote quick growth and to get a jump start on a lush green appearance. For every two months after the first application, give your lawn another application until the middle of fall. At this point it will help deter weeds from growing, and maintain the healthy structure. Always follow the directions carefully on your chosen fertilizer.
Testing Your Garden Soil
Determining the pH of your soil is necessary if you are trying to establish a productive garden, no matter what you are growing. If the soil is too alkaline, then the nutrients won't distribute. If the soil is too acidic, you must provide nutrients to balance it out. To lower the pH, add coffee grounds of manure; to raise the pH, add egg shells or limestone. You can obtain soil testing kits from your local gardening store or nursery, and you should test several different areas of soil in your landscape. The soil test, is looking mainly for the macronutrients necessary for proper plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. After you understand what nutrients your yard has or needs, you can save money on products and supply the soil with specific nutrients.
Keep Weeds Under Control
Since weeds can take over a lawn within a week, keeping them under control is an important part of lawn or garden care. Weeds destroy grass roots and make plants weak and uncontrolled. Control weeds with a pre- or post-emergent herbicide. Make sure the variety of herbicide is grass- or produce-safe.