Tips For A Greener Lawn
There’s nothing more pleasing to the eye than a lovely, healthy flat lawn which looks as close as possible to the kind of quality you’d expect to see on a golf course. But such a thing doesn’t come easily, and you will need the right kind of mower and sprinkler system to do your garden justice.
DOs And DON’Ts
- Don’t worry about your lawn turning light brown in the summer months; it is completely natural. Certain kinds of grass, eg. Kentucky bluegrass and fescues even turn brown on purpose, to protect themselves; a kind of grass hibernation. You can get it to be greener, but brown grass doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy.
- Do move the mower blades to a higher setting, regardless of your type of mower. Cordless lawn mowers, corded lawn mowers, robot lawn mowers, and push mowers all have within them the capability of a higher or lower setting, in which you ought to be leaving about 3 inches of grass blade intact, to achieve stronger, deeper roots throughout those arid, scorching peak times.
- Don’t bother watering little and often; it’s better to do a thorough watering just a few times per week so that the water sinks right down into the roots and doesn’t just evaporate away.
- Do water earlier in the day, if you can. This will mean your lawn has time to ingest that all-important moisture, but will also be able to dry out enough to prevent fungal diseases from occurring in the upper parts of the grass blades.
- Don’t let your mower fall into disrepair. Keep its blades sharp, change the oil, spark plugs, and filter. Not doing this may mean you’re tearing rather than cutting the blades of grass, which will result in brown tips forming on the grass’ blades.
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Types Of Lawn Mowers
The main types of mowers you can buy are as follows:
- Cordless Lawn Mowers – The advantage of a cordless over a corded lawn mower is that it will never end up getting entangled in its own cable, and will never be bound by the length of an extension lead. They tend to be heavier and more expensive than their corded cousins but will give you that freedom you need, especially when tending to the needs of a larger garden. You can get a traditional nickel-cadmium battery model or, these days, one with a lithium-ion battery, its chief advantage being that it is longer-lasting and lighter.
- Corded Lawn Mowers – A corded lawn mower is best for smaller-sized gardens; it is lighter, cheaper, and more user-friendly in terms of maneuvering it around your lawn. The most important thing is not to get one that has a cable which is shorter than your garden; otherwise, you’ll be spending plenty of time faffing around with extension leads.
- Unpowered Push Mowers – Push mowers, a.k.a. cylinder lawn mowers have no power system at all, and its blades are activated by being pushed manually, utilizing muscle power. Needless to say, this presents you with a good work-out and produces no noise, emissions, or electrical cost; they generally cost less than $100 so are easier on your wallet. They aren’t so easy to maneuver on a lawn that is on a gradient, and will obviously be a challenge for anyone with a sensitive or weaker back.
Sprinkler systems are a great way of timing the water so that your lawn gets a good soak in the early hours of each day, without you having set the alarm and annoy the neighbors with your clattering around. There is a variety from which to choose:
- Soaker Hoses – These are like a regular garden hose but riddled with holes which allow the water to spool out in various directions; they’re often best placed strategically along the edge of your garden, or perhaps by having two at either edge of the lawn.
- Drip Irrigation Systems – These are a bit like the soaker hose but not as porous. You can have more lines out along your lawn and the water comes at a much slower rate, allowing the moisture to gradually seep into the ground, thus saving you water and doing a thorough job over time.
- Spray Systems – These are the sprinklers with which you are probably most familiar. Their spray heads can function in different ways; half circle, full circle, or other segments of a circle. They are fairly powerful but if you’re not careful can be overused, creating more water than your lawn can absorb, so are best used in shorter bursts; they’re especially effective on flat surfaces.
- Rotor Systems – These come in two different styles; impact or stream. They can cover quite a bit of area so are useful on larger lawns. They tend to shift the focus of the water around so allow for absorption time, which can be an advantage.
Whatever sprinkling system you opt for, and whichever mower you choose, remember that your lawn will naturally go through times of relative brownness and relative greenness, unless you do some significant mowing and sprinkling, with perhaps even a bit of fertilizing at times. If you want the tennis court or golf course look then go for it!
- Natural Organic Lawn Care – Ohioline
- Spring Into Greener Lawns – K-State Research and Extension
- Carolina Lawns: A Guide to Maintaining Quality Turf in the Landscape – NC State Extension