Lawn Care Start-Up Tips

A lush, green, healthy lawn is a homeowner's pride. However, maintaining a healthy lawn can be a challenge in some regions, soils and climates. Beyond the basic care requirements, fertilizing consistently and establishing a watering cycle may make a big difference.

Fertiliza Consistently

Some gardeners find fertilizer intimidating, some use it incorrectly and still others overuse it. Always read the directions carefully on the fertilizer package. The key is to choose fertilizer that's appropriate for your specific lawn grass and region, and to use it consistently. It can benefit your lawn year-round, especially when you are trying to give your lawn a healthy start-up. Fertilizer helps makes the grass seed germinate faster and promotes deep, healthy root growth. Fertilize in early spring to get a lush, green color quickly. Every two months after that, re-apply the fertilizer until it is almost the first frost. During this time, it will make the grass grow deeper and deter weed growth.

Control Weed Growth

Weeds can take over a lawn within days, so deterring them before they take hold is important so the grass doesn't weaken and die. For young start-up lawns, prepare the soil before planting grass seed or sod by tilling up the top 3 inches and removing any dirt clods or weed roots. For young or more mature lawns, control weeds with a pre or post-emergent herbicide. Apply the herbicide generously around lawn edges and problem weed areas.

Establish a Watering Plan

Watering a lawn may seem like the easiest part of maintenance, but establishing a consistent watering plan takes planning and time. Lawn grass (especially young lawn grass) requires a consistent cycle of watering and moisture so the grass blades and roots can grow strong and deep. When a lawn has strong, deep roots, it crowds out weeds, while making the lawn more disease resistant and drought-tolerant. Pick between the two main types of watering plans. The first, establishment watering, is best for start-up lawns and for grass that need to become more rooted. When establishment watering, the lawn is hydrated three times per day for short periods of time. The second plan, maintenance watering, is better for mature and established lawns and aims to use deep watering to maintain deep roots. With maintenance watering, the grass is deeply watered every other day for about 15 minutes.

Keywords: lawn care, young lawn care, esatblishing lawn grass

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.