There's nothing like a lush, green lawn to make a yard look inviting. Although lawns do not require extensive maintenance, they do require some. Daily watering, weekly mowing, occasional fertilization and weed control measures, and seasonal maintenance are required for an established lawn to look its best.
Creating a Lawn
Before you can worry about maintaining a lawn, you have to create one. Lawns are created with either seed or sod. Seed takes a little more time to become established and will not withstand foot traffic while it is taking root, whereas sod creates a ready-made lawn within a few hours time and can handle light foot traffic even before roots have become well established. Both methods require the ground to be tilled prior to planting, and both should be kept consistently moist until lawn has become well established.
Mow your lawn weekly during summer months. In cooler weather, grass does not grow as rapidly, so mowing may be less frequent during spring and fall seasons. Mulching lawn mowers leave the cut grass on the lawn to act as mulch, which helps retain moisture. Leaving grass a little longer will help retain moisture, as well. Grass that is cut too short dries out quickly, very likely scorching in the hot sun. Trim lawn edges with a weed trimmer or hand shears to tidy your lawn's appearance.
Fertilize your lawn in the spring to encourage new growth and again in the late summer to replenish nutrients that have been used up. Use a fertilizer-weed killer combination to save yourself a few steps and maybe a few dollars, too.
Water your lawn regularly, but don't overwater. Lawns like to be kept moist but not soggy. Allow your lawn to dry out a bit in between waterings. Water grass more often during hot summer months, when lawns tend to dry out quickly and easily scorch in the heat of the sun. Water your lawn in the morning, if possible. Watering in the evening leaves grass moist in the cooler night temperatures, inviting bacteria and fungal diseases to pay a call.
If you go with the above suggestion, taking care of weed control and fertilization at the same time, you can skip this section. However, if you choose to combat weeds separately from your fertilizing schedule, protect your lawn with applications of weed killer throughout the season. Be certain that the product that you choose to combat weeds can be used without doing harm to the lawn.
Rake or power rake in the early spring, and then aerate the lawn before fertilizing. This allows water and fertilizer to be better absorbed. You'll also want to get a jump start in the war on weeds for the season, if it wasn't taken care of when you fertilized the lawn.
Rake up leaves and garden debris, where insects and bacteria can hide. Although you should not fertilize when grass is preparing for dormancy, provide your lawn with one last application of weed killer, if you have been applying them separately.