Once you become a proud homeowner, you’ll quickly discover that the larger part of taking pride in your primary residence revolves around maintenance. Whether you’re patching the roof, painting the walls, or keeping the place spic-and-span, there’s a lot of work to be done if you want to keep your house in ship shape. And the maintenance doesn’t end at the front door – you’ve also got a yard to deal with, complete with flora and fauna that need to be fed, watered, weeded, trimmed back, and otherwise kept looking green and healthy. Of course, as outdoor spaces go, your main concern may be the lawn, simply because it is the biggest swath of greenery to contend with. And while some people seem to be baffled by basic lawn care, the truth is that you can easily maintain a beautiful greensward by following just a few simple guidelines.
- Seed vs. sod. If your lawn is all but dead or you’re dealing with some serious patchiness due to neglect by the former tenant, then the first thing you’ll have to decide is whether you want to replace it with seed or sod. Either way you may have to begin by hydrating and aerating the soil so that the new root structure can take hold, but from there you have a choice to make. If you’d like to save some money and you’re willing to wait for results, seeding is definitely the way to go. But if you’re willing to pay a little more to enjoy a lush and beautiful lawn now, then rolls of sod are your best bet.
- Native grasses. Before you get all gung-ho installing your new lawn, it pays to consider the use of both native and drought-resistant grasses. There’s a reason that native plant life thrives, and it’s because it has found a way to fit into the existing ecosystem over the course of hundreds or even thousands of years. So rather than introducing a non-native species that may prove appealing to pests, or alternately, choke out other plants, think about the benefits of selecting a native species. You should also consider drought-resistant grasses that will stay green with less water.
- Aeration and watering. The watering process required to keep your lawn green can be made easier with the use of a built-in (preferably underground) sprinkler system set on a schedule. But you should also consider the prospect of regular aeration (creating holes in your lawn for air to get through) as a way to counteract natural settling and increase hydration to roots. This can also increase drainage while decreasing evaporation, making it beneficial to your lawn on many levels.
- Mowing and weeding. Grass grows pretty quickly and it can soon get unruly, so you should probably plan on mowing on a weekly basis. Of course, weeds can also take root on your lawn and spread pretty fast if not taken care of. So finding measures to keep weeds at bay is imperative to preserving a healthy and beautiful lawn.
- Pest control. Unless your cutting edge grass happens to be Astroturf, chances are good that you could deal with pests, both insect and animal, that might leave your lawn looking a little patchy. The first step here is to identify the pests causing problems, after which you can find ways to rid your lawn of this blight. With both natural and chemical options at your disposal you can choose the solution that works for you.