One would never know how dearly humanity holds grass in the symbolism of life, until the urge for better things is born or rekindled. Often times, people move from one job, relationship, or even marriage, in search of greener pastures on the other side. Needless to argue, only green grass in the ‘plant kingdom’ is so closely associated with change and hope. As long as grass is greener somewhere, it will always appeal to human eyes, extending an open invitation to connect and establish a long term relation. This article aims at highlighting the journey of hard work towards having and maintaining green lawns – if others have done it, you can do it for yourself.
A Green Lawn, the heartbeat of every garden
For most homeowners or garden owners (for whichever purposes), the gardens are deemed incomplete or simply out of order, whenever the lawns are not looking great. While beds and borders can be made as colorful as one would wish, the sure compliment would be a lawn that is not only lush but also green. This way, both family and friends would deem it great fun to sit and relax – and a wonderful playground with kids and for kids.
And the green lawn care journey begins
An old adage has it that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Without a doubt, this journey calls for a lot of dedication, as opposed to common thinking that regular mowing is all it takes. Here are some of the tips to keep eyes on in this journey.
- Consider available types of grass for each lawn: for starters, it is important to note that grass is not simply grass. There is more to it than meets the eye. While there are many types of grasses to choose from, particular lawns may only be fit for specific types, especially given that every type comes with unique and specific requirements for growth. Ideally, grasses need to be classified according to warm or season climatic regions. Grasses like Fescues, Bentgrasses, Ryegrasses and Bluegrasses would be most recommended for cool seasons. On the other hand, warm season localities would call for grasses like Centipede grass, Buffalo grass, St. Augustine grass, Zoysia grass, Bahia grass, and Bermuda grass.
- Get it right with foot traffic and shades: as far as shades are concerned, I find there are only two options: either they are avoided at all cost, or selected type of grass should have a high level of tolerance to shade; in this regard, fine fescues may be a perfect match. On the other hand, it would be necessary to assess the level of foot traffic. If the traffic is unavoidably high, that would call for a choice of tough grass types, in the line of Kentucky bluegrass.
On to resistance, add blending: because the amount of rainfall differs from one place to another, it is not unusual that some places are more prone to dry spells than others. This should inform the choice of drought-tolerant types of grass. To this extent, homeowners should also consider types that can easily blend with others, as in the case of Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue.
- Save yourself the wrath of mother-nature: while Mother Nature has faithfully watered thousands of lawns since time immemorial, it’s always prudent to put measures in place, for prevention is better than cure. To ensure there is consistent supply of sufficient water, securing an automatic irrigation system may not only be efficient but also cost effective in the long run. This is what I would call the breastfeeding stage, the gift of nature to young ones – do not deny the grass the right to water.
- Get rid of the lawn thatch layer: this is a sure way of seeing to it that all the hard work is of watering the lawn is not reduced to chasing the wind. By all means, it would be fatal to have a thatch layer of anywhere around or above half an inch. Such a layer would be disastrous in two ways: it would first and foremost cut short the water journey from reaching the roots of the grass, while on the other hand harboring insects or pests.
- Lawn fertilizers: this is what I would more or less call the weaning stage. It has been said before that man shall not leave on bread alone, and I dare say ‘grass shall not live on water alone’! To ensure that the roots are strong and that weeds and pests do not enjoy free and easy access to the grass in a sense that would deter lush growth, both organic and synthetic fertilizers should be engaged. However, care should be exercised to make sure that the yard does not suffer from discoloration, burning or excessive growth, as a result of excessive supply of fertilizers (especially nitrogen). Remember too much of something is always poisonous. A balance between slow-release fertilizers and fast-release fertilizers would come in handy.
- Weed control: one of the most effective ways of dealing with weeds is to deny them hotbeds dubbed bare spots, for this is the space they grab to cause havoc. Other products to appreciate are the products commonly referred to as weed and feed, meant to cushion homeowners from wasting nutrients to weeds. Adhering to fertilizing schedules as recommended by companies on the package or label would be most ideal.
- Mowing the right way: mowing is in itself a form of art, and care should be employed in this regard. Ideally, this exercise should be conducted in the evening hours, as opposed to the afternoon hours when the wrath of the sun is still at its peak. With lawn mowers blades properly sharpened to avoid unnecessary tearing of grass, mowing directions should be alternated to prevent formation of ruts. There is wisdom in setting mower blades to no more than 3 inches. When the grass is too short, growth of roots will be limited for no good reason, expose the grass to damage, easily changing its color to yellow, and hence increased demand for water and nutrients.
The timing and manner of implementing the various tips are great complements to all the hard work. It’s said that Rome was not build in a day, and so are lawns. Green lawns take time and call for patience. If these two are invested accordingly, the returns will be obvious. Then you can enjoy a cool home, extra fresh oxygen, and conducive space for play and relaxation. Indeed it’s true, that hard work pays! This way, the grass can be greener on this side as well.