Grass, lawns, yards, grass and turfgrass: everyone has a name for that green space, but what it really is, is your own little piece of the earth. You own it, you take care of it, you're responsible for it. Your lawn needs you! And, you need your lawn.
Our lawns have become a major player in our eco-system, after all lawns cover about 50 million acres in America (2003 estimate). That means what you do is multiplied thousands of times over. So it's important to do things right and not because that's the way you've always done it.
Take steps such as:
Improving your soil
Being careful with herbicides and pesticides
Fertilizing the lawn only after soil testing to determine what your soil actually needs
You can make a difference, and following a few easy steps can go a long way in improving your environmental impact, and making your lawn even more efficient.
Here's a few first steps to get you started
Besides keeping your house from sinking into some dark abyss, your lawn is an important component in our environment. Here are some tips for making your lawn better, and better for our environment.
Grass-cycling is also part of my lawn care program. This alone accounts for a 33% reduction in the amount of supplemental fertilizer needed.
Soil-testing is a critical first step in any lawn improvement (read more about pH levels). You need to know how much phosphorus is in your soil right now, before you add more. Turfgrass grows best in a soil with an optimum pH level for turfgrass. Soil testing will give you that info and if need be, you can take some very simple steps to improve the pH level.
Let's face it: your, turf grass lawn, yard, or whatever you call it, is pretty cool. Not only does grass smell good when you mow it, but grass feels good to walk across. My kids like playing on it, and my dogs definitely like it for entirely different reasons. Grass looks pretty in the early morning with the dew sparkling across it, or in the fall when the first frost settles in.
The only thing all that lovely lawn of green grass asks is a little care, a little patience, and to be fed and groomed occasionally. Pretty much what your kids expect, except you'll never have to set up a college fund for your grass.
Understanding how healthy soils create healthy turfgrasses goes a long way in promoting the use of organic lawn care... just be aware of the limitations.
Lawn care isn?t difficult and doesn?t need to be expensive. It?s a matter of understanding what?s going on and what?s really happening when things don?t look right.
Every lawn and landscape has its share of problems. If you don?t see the problems, it?s because you?re not sure what to look for.
With a little knowledge, a sense of timing and a few helpful hints, even beginners can achieve results that will have the neighbors seeking their advice.
Lawn problems fall into 5 major categories:
Spring is a time when most people start thinking about their lawns again, especially after an especially dreary winter. And when thoughts turn to grass, lawn fertilization can't be far away. Cool-season grasses benefit from some (minimal) nitrogen application before they have the most significant period of root development in the spring. However, warm-season grasses don't start growing till later in the year. Wait until 50% - 75% of a lawn greens before applying nitrogen. Excess spring fertilization promotes a lot of shoot growth can be disastrous if there is a late freeze.