Everyone wants a gorgeous lawn to compliment their residence, but few have the training and the correct tools to make it happen. At J & S Lawn & Landscape LLC, our professionals have put together a list of landscaping essentials and tips to help you make your lawn look its best without breaking the bank—or your back—in the process.
How to Kill Weeds in Your Lawn
Weeds are the scourge of every nice landscape and are relentless propagators who thrive in virtually every type of soil. You’ll even find them protruding from cracks in cement and in other unlikely places, but there is a way to fight back.
Since everyone must start somewhere, the best time to join the fight against weeds is now. It will be an ongoing effort. Are you up to the challenge? Of course, you are! We’ll walk you through the process of aeration, fertilization, weed removal, watering, and seeding so you can have the lawn you’ve always wanted in no time. If you practice the following weed prevention advice, unwanted flora won’t stand a chance!
Improve Lawn Health and Drainage with Aeration
Aeration is a critical first step to your success. Since weeds love to take root in compacted soil, improving your soil’s airflow through decompression is a logical first step. Aeration is the process of punching a series of small holes into the soil, which in turn allow the roots of your grass to breathe, as well as absorb more nutrients.
Not only does your grass get a better chance to grow, but you are also allowing your soil to absorb more water than compressed dirt can. This means problems with drainage during rainstorms can be solved at the same time.
When is the best time to aerate your lawn? We recommend you do it the day after you’ve had rain in the spring and summer. Your lawn will be moist enough for your aeration tools to work, and your grass will have a chance to grow back and replace the plugs of soil that were lost with fresh blades of gorgeous, green grass.
Feed the grass, starve the weed. The more robust your lawn is, the easier it will be for each tender blade of grass to choke out the weeds. After all, they are competing for the same space and there can be only one winner.
Luckily your lawn has you on its side. Weeds can be a nasty opponent, but they’re no match for a homeowner with a solid plan of attack. We recommend a fertilization schedule that focuses on delivering the nutrients your grass needs during all stages of its lifecycle. You could consider:
Early Spring Fertilizing Mixture
In the early spring, your grass is waking up and is extremely hungry. For this reason, we recommend a fertilizer ratio that is higher in nitrogen, low in potassium, and absent of phosphorus.
Nitrogen is what grass craves during this time and feeding it this mixture gives it the best chance of becoming the lawn of your dreams. Well-grown grass is the key to choking out the weeds so don’t miss this critical step.
In summer, the focus of fertilization should be on keeping your lawn healthy by feeding it the nutrients it needs to thrive. A fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen, has no phosphorus, and is low potassium goes a long way.
Late Fall Fertilizing
In the late fall, the goal of fertilizing is to ensure your grass is protected from the harsh realities of winter. To do this, you’ll want to feed it a fertilizer that has a balance of nitrogen and potassium, and no phosphorus.
We recommend reading the directions on all fertilizers very carefully to ensure you’re using the right ratio at the appropriate time.
Proper Lawn Hydration
Lawn hydration is one of the single most critical aspects of growing a lush lawn but getting it just right can be tricky. For example, watering at nighttime may seem like a smart idea, however, in doing so, you are creating the perfect atmosphere for disease to appear and spread.
Watering too little also presents a problem, as grass roots will form too shallow and will burn in the heat of summer. So, when is the best time to water your grass and how much moisture is the perfect amount? We’re glad you asked.
We recommend watering your lawn in the morning, a couple of hours before lunch time, when the air is cooler, and more water can be absorbed into your root system. You’ll need to apply between 1 and 1.5 inches of water total per week. This process can be done all at once or can be split up into two separate events.
Remember, the goal is to hydrate the grass, giving it enough growing power to eradicate weeds.
Edging Made Easy
Prevent weeds and grass from entering your garden beds, walkways, and driveway areas. Edging not only makes your lawn look like it was professionally landscaped, but it also makes it very difficult for weeds and rogue grass strands to infiltrate your gorgeous flowerbeds.
Think of edging like a castle's moat. It’s a barrier built for protection. The purpose of edging is to create a small, empty space between your gardens and grassy areas. This keeps grass from choking out flowered areas and prevents weeds from crossing over and taking hold. Specialized edging tools can help make quick work of this job, with the bonus of you being able to choose the size of the barrier you’d like to create by selecting the right tool for the job.
When to Mow
Mowing is an often-overlooked strategy to control and prevent the formation of weeds. We recommend keeping your lawn mower on the highest setting and choosing a time in mid-morning or midafternoon to complete the work. By keeping your mower setting high and mulching your clippings back into your lawn, you’re not only providing it with some free fertilizer, but you’re also making it much harder for unwanted flora to grow.
Now that you’re privy to our best insider intel, you can tackle your lawn with confidence. Of course, you can always give J & S Lawn & Landscape LLC a call for more detailed information.