There is a reason why so many people love to live near golf courses. Well, there are many reasons, but among the top is the desire to look out over a carpet of green, well-manicured grass on a regular basis. Of course, a home on a golf course also offers the advantage of not having to maintain that grass!
What can you do to bring a bit of that beauty into your yard and ensure a thick carpet of grass without having to hire a professional service? While nothing can guarantee an ideal yard, you can take a few key steps to help make sure that your grass is healthy and thrives. Take some time to learn how to make your grass green and then give me a call at (336) 575-7249 to get started on using that fresh curb appeal to draw interest and value to your property.
Step One: Test Your Soil
Soil provides the food and foundation for a great lawn, but you can’t purchase the proper fertilizer and and other products to apply and adjust until you understand the chemical and material composition of your yard. Once you get a set of test results, you can take those to any knowledgeable lawn care or home improvement location and lean on the experts there to advise you on how to adjust your treatment for maximum results.
The great news is that for residents of NC, most of the soil tests that you would desire are free if you send your samples to the Department of Agriculture. You can get more information from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services on how to send in a soil sample and receive results.
Step Two: Select Your Grass Breed
We tend to think of grass as one encompassing breed of plant, but there are many varieties of grass and each is ideally seeded for different soil and conditions. Some like shade, others can handle extra water run-off, some will grow rapidly and require lots of maintenance, others feel rougher to the touch but provide a greener look year-round.
To select the grass breed that works in each area of your yard, take a week or so and watch your yard through the day to note areas of extra shade, constant sunshine, pooling water, and other elements that will impact which breeds would be ideal. Once you have a good idea of the layout of your yard and the types of environments where your grass will live, you can wisely select the best ground coverage for your spaces.
Step Three: Rake Regularly
Raking grass provides soil turnover, stimulates growth, and allows water to penetrate more easily through the top layer of turf. It also removes debris and other obstacles that can cause turf to grow unevenly or become stunted. You don’t have to rake weekly, but at least a few times a season in order to see maximum results.
In addition to raking, consider aerating at least once a season so that seeding and other maintenance can have maximum growth and impact. You can rent aerating machines at most major home improvement stores and get most yards completed in an afternoon.
Step Four: Proactively Combat Weeds
Once you get your seeds and grass settled, consider a pre-emergent treatment that will stop most weeds in their tracks when applied at the right time of year. Be careful that you don’t put down pre-emergent if you are simultaneously seeding for grass because many grass seeds will be stunted by such treatment, but for established lawns, and year-over- year treatment pre-emergent is ideal.
The sneaky thing about weeds and other nuisance plants is that they often travel to you through wind and other natural survival processes from neighboring yards or wildlife. For those weeds that need spot treatment, make sure whatever approach you use that you extract the roots and get to the weeds before they ‘go to seed’ and spread themselves even farther in your yard. That means, if you spot a weed, take a moment to extract it immediately to prevent larger issues.
Step Five: Cut the Right Length
Remember that cutting grass is a process of lopping off growth and fresh greens, so you need to be careful not to prune to harshly so that the roots and sprouts can continue to thrive. A good rule to remember is that the shortest you want to cut your lawn in a single mowing is one-third of the current height. If you have a desire to get a shorter look, you’ll need to mow more frequently. How frequently really depends upon the breed of grass and environment in which it is growing. Remember to hold off on mowing wet grass either with morning dew or right after a rain as the results will be rougher and the plants left less healthy. You also stand a greater chance of creating ruts and mud in lines in your yard due to the weight of the mowers and equipment.
The Grass Truly is Greener in Winston-Salem
With proper planning and maintenance, your yard can be the envy of the neighborhood and you can have the ‘golf course’ effect too! Start with a soil sample and understanding of how to get the base and food mix right and then grow from there for a fantastic yard. Whether you are looking to spruce up your yard for your own enjoyment or to set up your property for maximum curb appeal as you get ready to sell, I’d love to connect and help you to plan for your next property purchase or sale. Give me a call at (336) 575-7249 and let’s get to know each other and see how I can help you with your real estate needs.