guest post by Emma Metson
It is a thing of beauty to raise and maintain your own lawn. Lush green grass doesn’t only come in the form of artificial grass, no! For most of us, it is a chore to raise the real deal. But to many, it has become their art. I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who wouldn’t appreciate a clean, sleek, vibrant grassy garden or yard.
If the grass is well taken care of, it can bring a vibe of elegance to your home, thus making your yard, and you, look a hundred times more respectable.
With all that said, you might start to wonder if you can have your own. Absolutely! Here are 5 ways you can have lush green grass all year round.
1. Switch to synthetic grass
Let’s get this out of the way first. You always have the option to switch to fake grass!
Since it doesn’t grow, it will stay at the same, symmetrical height as when you purchased it. The synthetic grass that is commercially available nowadays already looks excellent; so much so that it can be confused for real grass! With just minimal maintenance, you can have that lush green grass all year round, for up to 20 years!
There are few more benefits of artificial grass:
Less labour intensive
Saves gallons upon gallons of water
No trimming or mowing required
Lasts up to about twenty to twenty-five years
Saves money and time
If undamaged/untainted, it will always be green!
You could even treat the installation as a garden decoration project!
2. Organic Fertiliser
Every living and breathing thing needs food. This includes your lawn! Why use organic fertiliser over its synthetic counterpart? Let’s first define both, shall we?
Basically, these are “man-made,” and hence, synthetic fertilisers. They come in different presentations, such as pellet, granule, or liquid. This fast-acting solution has become a practical choice because of its versatility.
Fertiliser is organic if it was made from a natural, organic source, such as compost, manure, fish extracts, and so on.
Synthetic vs. Organic
Synthetic fertiliser is a quick solution because of its high nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK) rating. (“K” is the chemical symbol of potassium.)
However, just as with virtually anything that is an “instant” solution, synthetic fertiliser will have its drawbacks. Though it takes care of the grass, this solution does not offer anything good for the soil. This means that the healthy and vivid green tone your grass enjoys right now may lose its colour over time. Therefore, you will regularly have to re-apply the synthetics, which can mean a host of problems.
For example, synthetic fertilisers may cause a build up of toxicity from constant reapplication, which can spread to the rest of your garden. If this is the case, then it would be best to “re-do” the entire affected area rather than to simply switch out the synthetic solution for its organic counterpart. This would require you to initially amend your soil to make sure it is the most suitable type. Then, you may start using organic fertilisers. These are some of the drawbacks to this quick-feed method.
Organic fertilisers, also known as DIY-plant food or homemade plant food, on the other hand, have a lower NPK rating than that of its counterpart. They, in turn, feed for a much longer time because of the lower content of its nutrients. However, this makes the appearance of its impact on the garden more subtle. It is also much harder to “burn” grass from overapplying organic fertilisers. Overapplication of a synthetic fertilizer, on the other hand, can easily burn your grass, resulting in unsightly brown patches in your lawn.
Although it takes time, you will see a greener lawn for a longer timespan. This is one of the many reasons why you should go with organic.
3. The most suitable type of grass for you
The most significant factor here is your location. Where do you live? This, in turn, will determine what kind of climate your region experiences, therefore determining what type of grass would be best to grow.
Grass is classified as either Cool or Warm Season grass. The season of the grass type’s active growth period determines which classification it belongs to. The main thing we’re trying to avoid is buying and growing warm season grass in a region where it is mostly snowing or buying cool season grass in a climate where it rarely rains. This will kill off your grass, thereby wasting money, time, and effort.
We can, therefore, infer that it is imperative that you get the right type of grass. Choose wisely! If you’re looking for warm season grass, search for creeping grass. And for cool season grass, search for the bunch grass type. Here are a few examples of each:
○ St. Augustine
○ Bluebunch wheatgrass
○ Idaho Fescue
4. Aerate your lawn
What is aeration? A quick search will tell us that: “Aeration is the process by which air is circulated through, mixed with, or dissolved in a liquid or substance.”
Therefore, we know that it is air that is to be spread around your grass/lawn. Our lawns need to breathe, just like we do.
It can take a conscious and considerable effort to keep your yard in pristine condition. Other than the constant shove of mowing and other chores, knowing how to aerate your lawn can also do wonders. This will require you to do some de-thatching beforehand, though. A build-up of thatch can make it hard for your lawn to properly “breathe.”
So when should you start this process? At the beginning! When your grass’ growing season starts, aerate then. The idea is that after the soil deterrents are removed, the grass is still capable of filling in open crevices since it is still healing. Fall or early spring would be ideal times because the grass is cool in those seasons.
Finally, maintenance. Even if you choose the perfect type of grass and support it with the perfect type of fertiliser, while giving it the best aeration treatment ever, none of that will matter if you don’t maintain it.
In the summer months your grass will need a bit more time and attention to keep it looking its best. Regular watering, especially during very hot weather, will help it stay healthy. Be sure to only water in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower. This will help preserve water, stopping it from evaporating in the heat of the day.
You’ll also need to maintain your lawn throughout winter, although this season’s work is a bit less intensive. Once you’ve aerated your lawn, the work doesn’t pick up again until the spring, giving you a good amount of time to get your lawn mower serviced!
The dream of having that lush, green, vivid, beautiful yard is always possible. You might instead call it a goal rather than a dream, perhaps. In this day and age where information is readily available and accessible, you can find tons of guides that have the capability of pointing you to the right direction.
All you need to do is to give it its due diligence, patience, a dash of resourcefulness, and of course, labour. Having lush green grass is one thing, maintaining it all year round and then some is another. That said, do not fret because the goal is also just at arms reach!
Emma Metson is a part-time property developer, part-time home improvements and gardening blogger at Fixtures and Flowers, and full time Mum. Given her background, Emma has a lot of advice, tips and tricks that she loves sharing on her blog.