A green, healthy lawn would be a real asset to your home. You lawn, if you take good care of it, could also help the environment, providing feeding ground for birds, as a rich source of insects, worms and other food. Thick grass prevents soil erosion, filters contaminants from rain water, absorbs many types of airborne pollutants and converts carbon dioxide to oxygen, cleaning the air.
Good soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn. The soil needs to have a good texture, some key nutrients and the right pH, or acidity / alkalinity balance. Lawn grows best in soils that have a mix of clay, silt and sand. Whatever soil type you have, you can improve it by periodically adding organic matter, like compost, manure or grass clippings. Thus, predominantly clay soil will lighten and sandy soil will retain water and nutrients. If your soil is packed down, it will be harder for air and water to penetrate, and for grass roots to grow. Your lawn may need to be aeratd several times a year to loosen compacted soil. This involves pulling out plugs of soil to create air spaces. Fertilize your lawn every year to add the necessary nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Keep in mind that overdosing can cause more harm to your lawn than good. Choose a slow-release fertilizer, that will feed the lawn slowly. Another important thing to do is check the soil’s pH. Grass absorbs nutrients best in a slightly acidic soil, with a pH 6.5 to 7.0. If your soil’s not acidic enough, you can fix this by adding sulphur. You may want to seek the advice of experts to help you choose the right fertilizer, compost and other things your lawn might need. The health of your lawn depends on the soil it grows in.
To get the best possible results with your lawn, you need to choose the right type of grass – one that suits your needs and likes the local weather. Grasses vary in terms of the climate they prefer, the amount of water and nutrients they need, their resistance to pests, tolerance for shade and the degree of wear they can withstand. Do some research before you put in a new lawn to determine the best type of grass for your needs. Grass, susceptible to fungal disease is not suitable for humid conditions and water-loving grass is inappropriate for area with water shortages. Choose a grass type that is well adapted to your area and resists the local pests and diseases better, to get a healthy lawn.
Keep your lawn a bit high – this will produce stronger, healthier grass with fewer pest problems. Longer grass has more surface to take in sunlight, grows thicker and develops a deeper root system, which will help it survive drought, tolerate insect damage and fend off diseases. It will also shade the soil surface, keeping it cooler and helping it retain moisture. Another thing to remember is to water slowly and deeply, and only when the lawn really needs it. This will train the grass roots down and the grass will be able to find moisture during dry periods. Every lawn has unique watering needs, depending on the local rainfall, the grass and soil type, and the general health of the lawn. Water when the color of the grass dulls and footprints stay compressed for more than a few seconds.
Setting realistic goals will allow you to conduct an environmentally sensible lawn care program. A healthy lawn will still have some weeds and insect pests, but it will also have beneficial insects and organisms that will help keep pests under conrol.