Growing a lawn without weeds is a goal for many homeowners. Truth is, you’ll probably never have a lawn that is 100% free of weeds. However, you can grow a thick, healthy stand of turf. That's actually the easiest way to keep weeds at bey - grow turf that's so thick and strong that weeds can't find a weak spot to take root. Use this checklist to grow the healthiest and most beautiful grass ever.
Grow the Right Type of Grass
Different types of grass grow best in different parts of the country. Warm-season grasses are usually best adapted to warmer, more southerly regions. They include Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, Carpetgrass, St. Augustinegrass and Zoysiagrass. Cool-season grasses are usually grown in colder, more northerly regions but are also adapted to many mild winter areas. They include Fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass and Ryegrasses. Even within these two basic types of grasses, there are varieties that may be better adapted to one area than another. Check with your local Cooperative Extension System office to find out which grasses grow best in your area.
Begin by cutting grass with a sharp mower blade that cuts grass cleanly, without tearing or shredding. Proper mowing height depends on the type of grass you are growing. Cut the grass when it reaches about one–third higher than the recommended mowing height. If you do so, you can leave the clipping on the lawn and they will quickly breakdown, adding nutrients and organic matter without building thatch. Vary your mowing pattern to avoid creating ruts. And don’t mow when soil is wet. You can damage the lawn and mess up your mower.
Provide adequate moisture to the lawn, especially during episodes of drought or high temperatures. Provide deep, infrequent irrigation, which promotes healthy, deeper roots, which are better able to withstand dry periods. Find out more about lawn irrigation basics.
Before you start a fertilizer program, perform a soil test so you are absolutely sure which nutrients, and how much, need to be applied. Soils may also be acidic or alkaline and require additions of iron, magnesium or lime. Also, different kinds of grasses need to be fertilized at different times of the year. Contact your local Cooperative Extension System office for help developing the right fertilizer program for your lawn.
Watch for Problems
Like most landscape plantings lawns can suffer from a variety of ailments. Weeds, bare spots, insects and diseases can weaken and, if left untreated, can quickly ruin a healthy lawn. Keep a close eye out for problems in your lawn.
One weed leads to many more, so deal with weeds as soon as you notice them. Discover why weed control is key and how to do it successfully.
- When a bare spot develops, figure out the cause and try to fix it. Open soil is an invitation to weeds, so repair bare spots as quickly as possible. Same problem with links
- Be on the lookout for insect problems. Some of the signs to look for are skunks digging up lawn or flocks of birds feeding on turf. White Grubs are a common lawn pest.
Aerate and Dethatch
Compacted soils prevent air and water from reaching grass roots, resulting in and unhealthy lawn.
Aerating helps alleviate soil compaction.
Thatch build-up can prevent water and fertilizer from reaching roots and provide refuge for insects.