48 Lawn Care Tips
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn?
A healthy, happy, lawn receives regular mowing. The regularity of mowing depends on the season. During the growing season, it will need to be mowed more often. Usually, once a week is enough although this will vary depending on how fast the grass grows in your area. Outside of the growing season, mowing every other week is sufficient.
What Height Should My Grass Be?
Make sure the grass is tall enough to be cut before doing any mowing. Cutting the grass too short or before it needs it can hurt the root systems and the lawn overall. An ideal height is between 7.6-8.9 cm. If the grass is too long to cut with a lawn mower you might be better using a good garden strimmer to reduce the height before mowing.
How Long Does it Take to Mow the Average Lawn?
The average lawn is 929 square meters and takes 30 minutes to mow. This equals out to 11 hours/year dedicated to lawn mowing. Using a good battery cordless mower that lasts a full cut will reduce the time compared to corded models also.
How Do I Mow Stripes in my Lawn?
Stripes in lawns are made by bending the blades of grass in different directions so light reflects off them contrastingly. Start off by mowing the perimeter of the grounds. Then, mow in opposing directions across the lawn. Mow the perimeter again at the end to erase any imperfections caused from turning the mower around.
Should You Roll Your Lawn?
Rollers are used to intensify lawn striping by bending the grass blades further. They are also used to even out bumpy lawns. The biggest issue with rolling is that it compacts the soil and eliminates the air spaces that grass needs in order to grow healthy and prevents water from sinking into the ground. While it does have some good uses, it should be avoided unless necessary.
How Often Should I Water?
A lawn needs a minimum 2.5-3.5 cm of water per week all year-round. It is best to water the lawn a few times a week as opposed to every day. During hot spells, the lawn will need more watering. Invest in a rain gauge so you know exactly how much Mother Nature is providing and how much you need to supplement with a garden hose or sprinkler.
When is the Best Time to Water?
The best time to water is in the morning before it gets hot out. This is the ideal time because it gives the lawn time to dry out before nightfall. Wet lawns and cool night-time temperatures breed disease and fungal problems. Watering during the day is ok but the water will evaporate before it can be absorbed making it less effective.
Can I Cut Grass After it Rains?
You can but it is best not to. Grass that is too wet will bend over instead of being cut and leave the lawn looking uneven. It also cuts less clean and will clump up, potentially causing problems for your mower. Wet grass also means wet soil which makes mowing a slippery endeavour and you run the risk of creating ruts in the lawn.
Does Cutting Grass Help it Grow?
Yes. Cutting the grass stimulates it to grow more. The blade tips become focused on growing upward and outward, which creates a lusher, healthier lawn. If the grass is not cut, the plant focuses on growing stronger roots instead of blades and grows upwards at a slower pace.
How Can I Thicken My Lawn?
Overseeding, the simple process of adding new grass seed over the existing grass will keep the lawn looking lush. Overseeding on a regular basis is the key to a thick lawn. Adding a fertilizer regularly will also give the lawn the nutrients it needs to grow thick and healthy.
Can You Overseed a Lawn with Weeds?
Overseeding is a great option for lawns that have patches of weeds. It is better than using a strong chemical weedkiller to kill the weeds. Herbicides treat the problem but don't resolve the base cause of it. A thick, lush, lawn will not give weeds the opportunity to grow. Pull up all the weeds before you overseed and then watch the lawn keep them away.
Is it Good to Put Sand On Your Lawn?
Sand is often used as a top dressing for lawns. Top dressing is used to even out lawn surfaces and improve soil structure. Sand is not a good option for this because it causes drainage issues and it doesn't have any intrinsic nutritional value. It actually ends up hurting the soil more than it helps.
How Do You Topdress a Big Lawn?
Topdressing can be done by hand by flinging shovelfuls of compost evenly over the lawn and then raking it to smooth it out. This is extremely labour-intensive. With a small lawn, that's not a big issue. Mechanical topdressing spreaders are an option for bigger lawns. Some tool rental and large home improvement companies have them for rent.
How Do I Fill Bare Patches in My Lawn?
Cut out the bare patch of lawn with a sharp shovel and remove it. Fill the spot with topsoil until it is level with the rest of the yard. Spread a thin layer of seeds over the topsoil and cover them with straw to stop the birds from helping themselves. Water the seeds morning and evening.
What Causes Lawn Thatch?
Poor soil is the main cause of lawn thatch. Thatch is the thick centre of the plant at soil level where all growth originates from – it's where the roots and shoots meet. Microbes and fungi will break this down naturally, however, if they aren't present in enough numbers in the soil, the thatch will grow unhindered. Overwatering and overfertilizing, especially the use of heavy nitrogen fertilizers are also causes of excessive thatch since they cause the lawn to grow faster than the thatch can naturally break down.
How Do I know if My Lawn Needs Dethatching
If the thatch layer gets to be greater than 1.20 cm thick, it needs to be treated. Plants will start growing in the thatch and not in the soil which makes them easily disturbed and will lead to an unhealthy, patchy lawn. Thatching can be done with a rake or by using a lawn scarifier machine.
What Should I Put On My Lawn After Aerating?
A good quality topdressing should be added to the lawn after aerating. The topdressing soil or compost will add microorganisms to the soil which will assist in the breakdown of thatch.
Should You Leave Grass Clippings On the Lawn?
Yes, grass clippings add nitrogen and other beneficial nutrients back into the soil. They break down quickly and are great for the health of your lawn. The only times not to do this are if the clippings are too long or if they are excessively wet. They will stick together and block airflow to the plants in these cases.
Can You Leave Leaf Litter On A Lawn?
Yes! Isn't that great to hear? Leaf litter, like grass clippings, add back vital nutrients to the lawn. They act as a natural mulch, fertilizer, and important habitat for butterflies and birds. Mowing over the leaves to break them into smaller pieces helps a lot. Do not leave large piles or clumps of leaves around as they can suffocate the lawn. If you do plan on removing leaves use a rake, leaf blower or garden vacuum.
How Do You Fix A Bumpy Lawn?
If thatch is a problem, remove it by raking it up. Apply topsoil to any areas that are lower than the rest of the lawn. Try not to add it deeper than 1.20 cm since grass won't be able to grow through anything thicker. Use a core aerator over the lawn. The following year, repeat the process. A roller might help in this situation as well, depending on the size and prominence of the bumps.
Will Weeds Grow Through Mulch?
Yes, they can. There are ways to minimize how many though and to prevent most of them. Put a weed barrier beneath the mulch, if possible. Use fabric, black plastic, or several layers of newspaper. Then, apply the mulch in a 5-7.6 cm layer
Will Putting Mulch Over Grass Kill It?
It depends. A think layer of mulch will do nothing to stop grass from growing. A layer of mulch 10 cm or thicker will kill the grass. If the intention is to kill the grass, spread a thick double layer of cardboard under the mulch and it will stop the grass from germinating.
When Should I Stop Mowing My Lawn?
It really depends on the weather. The best time is when the grass stops growing which can vary year to year. If it is a mild winter, you may need to mow occasionally. Grass stops growing when the temperature is below 5C which is usually around November.
How Cold is Too Cold to Cut Grass?
Grass stops growing at 5C or lower so there won't be any need for cutting grass in those temperatures. Anything above that, the grass will still grow but if it is cold, it just grows slower. As long as the ground is not frozen, the grass will keep growing which means it can and should be mowed occasionally.
Does Frost Kill Grass?
No. It can turn the grass an ugly shade of brown if the ice crystals penetrate the cell walls of the grass but the grass itself doesn't die. Grass seeds are hardy and can survive frost and freezing. When the ground freezes, the plants, and seeds go into hibernation.
Does Epsom Salts Kill Grass?
No, it won't kill the grass and it won't really help it either. Epsom Salts are a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. If your soil is low in either of those compounds, then adding Epsom salts will help. Otherwise, it isn't much use.
Does Hot Water Kill Grass?
Yes, hot water will kill grass plants. It is a safe non-toxic method to kill grass if that is your intention. If it is not your intention, be very careful with boiling water around your lawn!
What is Lawn Fertilizer?
Lawn Fertilizer is a nutritious food specifically designed to feed your lawn and help it grow dense and lush. All fertilizers have a 3 digit code that represents how much nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are contained in the fertilizer. The code, called NPK for short, is written like 10-30-5 although the numbers will vary.
Is Lawn Fertilizer Safe For Dogs and Cats?
Most commercial fertilizers are not safe for dogs or cats. They can contain chemicals, insecticides, and pesticides that can harm your pet. There are pet safe formulations available so be sure to look for them.
Why Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?
Soil naturally loses nutrients over time. These nutrients need to be replaced and that is where fertilizer comes in. It provides nutrients, minerals, and other key elements needed for the soil to be strong and to grow a strong, healthy, lawn.
How Long Does It Take For Grass to Green Up After Fertilizing?
Quick-release fertilizers will show results in days while slow-release fertilizers will take several weeks. The effects of the quick-release won't last as long and will need more frequent applications. The slow-release lasts longer and requires less often applications. A combination fertilizer has both slow and quick release nutrients.
What Time Of Day Should I Fertilize My Lawn?
Late morning, when there is still some dew on the grass to absorb the fertilizer, is the best time. Make sure there is no wind to blow it away. Water the lawn afterward so the fertilizer further absorbed into the soil.
Is it OK to Fertilize Your Lawn in the Winter?
It is ok to do but not necessary. There are some fertilizers designed specifically for winter application. Apply it during a mild spell if you decide to do so.
How Do I Protect My Lawn in the Winter?
Aerate and fertilize the lawn before the first predicted frost so the lawn gets one last dose of nutrients before the ground freezes. Do not walk on the lawn if at all possible after the frost. The grass under your feet will get crushed and break and when the ground thaws, you'll be left with brown footprints across the lawn. Don't pile any snow on top of the grass, it will breed disease.
When Should I Put Down Grass Seed?
It depends on the type of grass seed. Align the planting with the natural growing time of the grass and you'll have the best success. Cool season grasses should be planted in late summer or early fall. Warm season grasses should be planted in late spring or early summer.
Can You Put Down Too Much Grass Seed?
Yes. When too much seed is laid, the seeds have to compete for resources and the seedlings end up struggling to survive. This creates weak grass roots that die off easier or succumb to disease. Also, it doesn't look good. Always follow the planting guidelines on the seed label.
Does Grass Seed Go Bad?
Yes. There is usually an expiration date on the bag but even if there isn't, grass seed germination rates naturally decrease over time. Some may still be viable but you won't know until you spend all the time spreading it, feeding it, and nurturing it. It's best not to waste that time and instead use fresh seed.
Can You Walk On Grass Seed?
No. Grass seedlings are fragile and walking across them can break the roots. Keep all dogs and other animals away as best as possible. Wait as long as possible before walking over newly planted grass.
How Long Does Grass Seed Take to Grow?
It depends on the type of seed. Germination can happen between 5-21 days. It will take another 4-10 weeks until the root is established and strong.
How Long After Planting Grass Seed Can You Mow?
There is no exact time period. It depends on how fast the grass grows and the type of grass you have planted. Once it has reached a minimum of 7.5 cm, it can be mowed.
Do You Water Grass Seed Right Away?
Yes and continue watering 2-3x per day until the seedlings start growing. Lightly spray the seeds with water so they don't get disturbed or washed away. When puddles show, stop the watering session. After the seedlings sprout, water less frequently but with a heavier application.
Should I Cover New Grass Seed?
Covering grass seed keeps moisture in and birds away. A thin layer of mulch is sufficient. Compost or straw are good mulch choices. Be careful not to lay down too much as it can end up suffocating the new growths, .06 cm is thick enough.
What Height Should My Grass Be?
Make sure the grass is tall enough to be cut before doing any mowing. Cutting the grass too short or before it needs it can hurt the root systems and the lawn overall. An ideal height is between 7.6-8.9 cm.
Will Rain Kill My New Seeded Grass?
No, quite the opposite, actually. Grass seeds need a lot of water to get started. After seeding, you'll water the spot until it is soaking, unless it rains. Heavy rains could be detrimental in that they wash away the seed.
How Often Should I Sharpen My Lawn Mower Blade?
A lot depends on the type of lawn mower, the type of grass you are growing, and how often you mow the lawn. A good guideline is to sharpen the blades after every 25 hours of lawn mowing. If you can or want to, they can be sharpened more often. Large petrol lawn mowers should be serviced once a year to keep them running smoothly.
Can a Dull Lawn Mower Blade Kill Grass?
Yes! The blades will cut at the grass but won't be able to slice it cleanly which will leave the lawn looking ragged and brown looking. It can also make the lawn more susceptible to disease. Using electric corded mowers can also sometimes lead to uneven cuts as people sometimes miss spots when they adjust the cable
What Causes an Uneven Mow on a Lawn Mower?
The most common cause is dull mower blades. Instead of cleanly cutting the grass, they tear at it and rip the blades. The blade could also be tilted at an angle. Another cause is operator error. Running the engine too slow or too fast can cause streaking.
Why Does My Grass Clump When I Mow?
Grass clumps when there is a lot of moisture in it. Grass mown in the morning is more likely to clump. Also, grass cut in the Spring has more moisture so it will clump more than summer grass. Longer grass is also more likely to clump when mowed.
Will Bleach Kill Weeds?
It could do but in most cases, it may not be the best option. Read our article on bleach as a weed killer.