Lawn Care & Grass

Overview

Whether it's for weed control, lower expenses or simply beautifying a property, the best lawn care practices often begin by taking care of the grass you have. Things such as cutting height, shade, fertilizer and water should all be taken into account when trying to produce that perfect lawn landscape. Grass species is also important, especially if you are starting a new lawn from scratch.

Types

Two basic types of grasses exist: warm season and cool season grasses. In some locations where the temperatures may hardly ever go below freezing, a warm season grass may be all you need. In other locations, where weather is extremely cold, a cool season grass may be in order. Many lawns in temperate climates feature both types of grasses so that the lawn looks full and healthy throughout the growing season.

Shade

Once you determine what types of grasses grow best in your area, the next step is to consider shade issues. If you have a heavily shaded lawn, you will need a shade-tolerant grass. Shade-tolerant cool season grasses include red fescue and velvet bluegrass. Warm season grasses that do well in shade include St. Augustine and Manilagrass. It should be noted, however, that all grass needs at least a few hours each day of direct sunlight.

Mowing

In general, it is always best to mow grass at the highest recommended level for that particular grass. This helps the grass develop proper roots and rhizomes. It can also help prevent invasive species from entering into a certain area. In general, most cool season grasses should be cut no lower than 2 inches. Warm season grasses can often be cut a little shorter, but it all depends on the variety. Never cut more than a third of your grass height at one time.

Watering

Watering is part of the lawn care process that receives a great deal of attention. In some cases, your grass type may be determined by its water requirements and if any watering restrictions exist where you live. Generally, some of the symptoms grass exhibits, such as yellowing or wilting, apply both to under watering or over watering. The best time to water is just before the grass begins to wilt. If you are over-watering, the tendency may be to continue to water more if the grass turns an unexpected color.

Fertilizer

To get the fullest turfgrass cover and keep the lawn looking at its healthiest, some fertilizer may be required from time to time. You will have the choice between synthetic fertilizer and organic. Your choice could also include homemade compost fertilizer, which would help you cut down on the expense, yet provide nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, that your lawn needs.

Keywords: best lawn care, lawn care practices, cool season grasses, warm season grasses

About this Author

Ken Black is a freelance writer and a staff writer for The Times Republican in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel.