Here are 5 super-easy lawn care strategies to make your grass greener than the neighbours…
Apart from stubbing your toe during your 3am trip to the bathroom, there’s nothing worse than peeking over your garden fence and realising, “urgh, the grass really is greener on the other side.” Now I’m not saying everyone secretly compares their gardens with everyone else on their street, but everyone kinda does, which is why I’m going to teach you a few little secrets that will give you the greenest lawn in all the land.
So, without further ado, here’s how to make the grass greener on both sides of the fence (but even greener on your side):
Thatch The Way (Ah Huh Ah Huh) I Like It
What is thatch I hear you thinking? It’s basically a layer of dead grass and debris that lies on top of the soil of your lawn. It’s things that haven’t quite decomposed yet, like stems and stolons, rhizomes and roots and that sort of stuff. Anyway, if you’re dealing with a layer of thatch that’s ½ and inch or thicker, your grass is going to struggle to live its best life.
Cue a little process called dethatching. If you’re dealing with ½ inch of thatch, you can do that pretty easily with a rake and some elbow grease. But if you’re looking at a thick layer of around ¾ inch or more, you’ll want to schedule a scarification job. (spoiler alert: your grass is going to look greener than the Hulk).
Water You Going To Do Next
This will always feel weird to say living in England, but the temperatures are rising, heat waves are becoming more frequent and we have had some of the driest months on record, which is why you really need to think about regularly watering your lawn. The trick is to adopt heavy watering sessions less often to help your roots grow — the longer the roots, the healthier the grass.
Basically, your lawn needs to have enough water on a consistent schedule for it to remain green and healthy (and be the envy of everyone that overlooks your garden). Of course, overwatering can create its own set of problems, but an under-watered lawn is even worse because an under-watered lawn will lack the vigor and resilience to overcome weeds and diseases (not to mention staying green).
Throw Fertiliser Around Like It’s Confetti
Instead of thinking about your lawn as one giant plant, try thinking about your lawn as millions of individual plants that need to be fed on a regular basis. That’s why fertiliser is so important. Well, that and the fact it’s great at weed-control.
Here’s how it works: when your lawn takes in the nutrients from your fertiliser, the root system is able to grow and expand and reclaim any bare spots in your lawn, which prevents any weeds from being able to take hold. You’re essentially hitting the weeds where it really hurts. So, by coupling up your maintenance efforts with a bit of fertiliser here and there, you’ll find your grass becomes so thick and healthy that it starts to crowd out most weeds — and look oh-so-green doing it.
Keep You Composted
For those of you out there that are big fans of organic landscaping, your best friend is going to be Monsieur Compost. By keeping your lawn well-fed with compost, you’re helping it out when it comes to crowding out weeds and fighting off pest invasions too. And the best part: there are so many weird things you can compost.
Of course, to really up your organic weed control should any of these suckers manage to emerge, there’s nothing more effective than a good, old-fashioned hand-pulling approach — and to give you a little tip, the most effective thing you can do is water the area first and then start pulling. Weeds just come out of wet soil wayyy more easily than dry ground.
Lawn & Order: Special Mowing Unit
The height you set your mower deck plays such an important role on your lawn’s health and greenness. The mowing rule of thumb I suggest you follow goes like this: only mow when your grass is dry, only when the blades are 3 to 3½ inches tall and never (never-ever) cut it shorter than 2 to 2-1/2 inches (or remove more than a third of the blade in any one mow).
The reason for this rule of green thumb is to help your grass keep all the valuable nutrients it needs — and it will also mean you can leave your grass clippings left on your lawn to do some good because they won’t be too long or thick. If you don’t, however, and you decide a good old scalping will mean you get to mow your lawn less, you’ll stress your grass out, especially during the summer months. So, to cut your grass properly, mow high, mow often and mow with a sharpened blade so you aren’t tearing your grass blades and inviting in a whole bunch of unwanted diseases.
And there we have it, 5 easy lawn care tips that will make your grass the greenest and give you bragging rights over the neighbours.