The quest for the perfect lawn — whether you’re living in the city, suburbia or out in the woods — is never-ending for many homeowners, but it all begins with that basic and all-important step: lawn mowing.
Keeping a trim lawn and cutting grass on a regular schedule promotes new growth both above and below the soil.
Not only does lawn mowing make a property look appealing (and creates a wonderful outdoor living and recreational area) but it helps to deter insect and pest problems that are often associated with unkempt lawns with much longer grass.
Long grass invites a whole hosts of things from various insects like mosquito’s, ticks and gnats, but will also attract rodents such as voles and moles, who will feed off of grubs in the soil and tear up the lawn, as well as mice and rats and even larger mammals such as skunks, opossums, raccoons and cats.
Having a nice lawn on top to cut begins below the ground in the root system.
A much over-looked process in cultivating a lush green lawn is dethatching in spring and aerating the soil once or twice a year. This allows old thatch that is blocking water and nutrients from entering the soil to be removed and also loosens compacted soil. Aerating takes it a step further by not only loosening the soil but it allows oxygen and fertilizers to reach the root system for optimal growth.
These two steps are also perfect in the aiding of over-seeding a lawn that is riddled with bare spots or is infested with invasive weeds such as crabgrass and dandelions. However, never mix new grass seed with crabgrass preventives, such as the Scott’s Step 1 program, or other such fertilizers because the chemical agents work by preventing the germination of weeds and will also prevent the grass from sprouting.
When planting new grass seed, whether you are over seeding or establishing a new lawn, you should always add a starter fertilizer to aid in quick germination and growth.
A good alternative to seeding is to have sod installed, which is significantly more expensive, but provides an “instant lawn” for you to enjoy almost immediately. The maintenance of sod is also significantly more than a traditional lawn at first but the results are living on a virtual golf course.
However, if properly maintained, a sod lawn will give homeowners years of enjoyment with little weeds and a perfect outdoor recreational area where shoes are optional.
For quotes on sod installation in the Albany area, click on the “contact” page of the Parkview Landscaping and Home Improvement website (www.yourparkview.com).
Proper mowing and lawn care should include the actual mowing of the large open areas, weed whacking and weed trimming for all border sites and skinny walking areas, as well as the removal of grass clippings and blowing off or sweeping of sidewalks, walkways, driveways and along the roadway.
Most companies will give customers good discounts and offer affordable rates when contacted earlier in the season when they are still in the process of booking jobs for the year. The longer you wait, most likely the higher the price will be.
This goes for the grass itself, too.
Most contractors will often charge double or more if the grass is five to six inches or longer. It involves more work, more haul-away, and more time.
As for the growing part, fertilizers will help not only with optimal growth and color of a lawn, but will also combat weeds and cut down on insect population and grubs, which in turn decreases the pests that are forging for them in your lawn.
Some companies specialize in only treating the lawn with chemicals, but it is often a good idea to have the company that does your mowing to treat the lawn as well (unless you maintain it yourself). The people that regularly maintain your lawn will be more apt to notice and subtle changes in the lawn and identify problems more quickly than a company that only sees it a few times a year.
Often the same people are not applying the treatments with chemical companies, where as usually the same people are mowing your lawn every week (or every two weeks).
So in order to enjoy that lawn and get you most out of your backyard this season, remember that it all begins with proper maintenance and good mowing habits (and a simple chat with your local landscaper can go a long way, too!).
If you have any questions about this article or about lawn care in the Albany, NY area, contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.