Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to obtain a beautiful lush lawn is to invest extensive amounts of time, effort and money. However, grass is a plant that actually requires very little care to thrive. Some varieties of grass require almost no care. If the idea of spartan lawn care appeals to you, learn what grasses thrive in your area, and then understand what kind of upkeep is required.
What Is Grass?
Although most people take grass for granted, never considering it as anything more than a green carpet upon which to play, it actually contains all the components of a plant: roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. It comes from the plant family called graminae, and there are over 6,000 species of grass. Grass is extremely adaptable and hardy. It can be cut out of a lawn and replanted in a new location. And it can be mowed over and over again and still grow back.
If you are laying new sod, select a type of grass that is right for your area. In hot climates Bahia grass, Bermuda grass, and St. Augustine are good choices. In dry regions, select tall fescue or zoysiagrass. If your grass is a good match for your climate, it will thrive naturally and won't require special care. Websites such as Lawn Care Academy or LawnGrasses.com can aid you in discovering the climate zone you're in and the best turf choice.
Grass only requires three things: good soil in which to root, sunlight to carry out photosynthesis, and water. Fertilizers, pesticides, aeration, and any other suggested practices as just that---suggestions, not requirements.
Spartan Watering Practices
One of the biggest concerns for those caring for grass is giving it adequate water in the hot months, but grass can be trained to thrive on very little water. This is achieved by watering deeply every third day in hot climates, and every fourth or fifth day in cooler climates. This type of watering encourages the grass to push its roots down deeper where cooler and moister soil is found. In this way, even in times of high heat and sparse rain, the grass stays healthy.
There are only a few months in a year when grass may require weekly mowing. Otherwise it is better to mow less frequently. Remove only one-third of the total grass height. This allows the blades of grass to create adequate shade for the roots and to keep the soil moist and cool. Allowing the grass clippings to return to the lawn provides nutrients for the grass and makes the task of mowing far easier.