Most of us know the stereotype of the suburbanite home-owner obsessed with his or her lawn. They will go to any length to ensure a weed-free, green and perfectly mowed lawn. While the TV and movie stereotype might be a little exaggerated, there are a lot of people who actually take a lot of pride in having a well-groomed lawn. It is often part of the general aesthetics of the house: the lawn acts as a carpet, only for the outside. So just like a well-chosen carpet for your living room or your bedroom, choosing the right grass and taking care of it will give you the results you want.
Something most people may not know is that there are many types of grass. Some are good for colder, northern climates while others are better for areas with little to no winter. When choosing your grass, make sure you choose one that is proper to your climate, otherwise your grass will die because it is too cold or too warm. You may also have to put different types of grass in different parts of your yards, especially if you have shady areas that get little to no sun. Also consider foot traffic and the amount of water you get during the summer; some grasses are more resistant to traffic and to drought than others. Your local horticulturist will be able to advise you on this. If you want to grow a green, sturdy grass, you will need to check your thatching. Too thick a thatch will prevent water from reaching the roots of your grass; if it is too thin, your grass may become prone to insects and parasites.
If your thatch is in bad condition, you might have to replace it completely; again, ask the advice of your local grass specialist if you have any doubts. Another important part of growing a great lawn is fertilizing and weed control. Fertilizers provide the nutrients that your soil lacks and ensures that your grass is able to thrive in your climate conditions. Weed control is another matter: it is necessary if you want to avoid an ever-growing patch of dandelions. There are a lot of commercial fertilizers you can use, or you can also enlist the services of a fertilizing and weed control specialist if you don’t want to take care of it yourself. In any case, do not skip these two important steps, otherwise you will see yellow, dry patches appear quickly, as well as the possible weed invasion. Last but not least, if you want your lawn to look like a new carpet every day of the year (or summer, depending on your location), you will have to keep it mowed. There is nothing uglier than an unmown lawn! The length of the blades should be around 3 to 3.5 inches; never cut it shorter than 2.5 inches.
Also, a good self-fertilizing tip: leave the mowed grass on the ground after you’ve cut it. If you’ve only cut an inch or less, this will contribute to fertilizing your lawn. Keep your mower blades sharp, and mow in the evening when your grass is dry. If you follow these simple tips, you should have a nice, carpet-like green lawn in no time. One of the best articles on this subject I have read can be found here. Enjoy your new yard!