A great lawn relies on four key ingredients. Without the right balance among these important elements, your grass will always struggle to maintain health and beauty. What are these four ingredients? And how can you keep them in the right balance? Here's what every lawn owner should know.
Obviously, plants need sunlight in order to live and grow. In fact, grasses usually need plenty of direct sunlight. However, many homeowners like to provide some shade as well, either at a specific time each day or through things like deciduous trees that offer dappled shade. This helps protect the grass during the hottest parts of summer. However, too much shade can also cause water to pool and encourage pests and fungus.
How much you need to water your lawn depends on many factors, including the grass type and your local climate. Some grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, often need a relatively large amount of water. While others, like zoysia, often need less. It's important to match your grass choice with the typical moisture levels of your climate or plan for a more tailored irrigation schedule.
Most property owners don't think of their yard in terms of how much oxygen their plants are getting, but this is a key factor. Soil compaction can cause grass roots to fail to get the required amount of oxygen, which is why aeration and compaction prevention are key for good lawn care. In addition, thick layers of mulch or compost can block oxygen from getting down into the soil. Even competing roots can rob the grass of oxygen.
You'll need to feed your lawn the right nutrients so it has all the building blocks it needs to maintain good health. Some of the most important nutrients include potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous. Different grass species like different levels of these nutrients as well as different pH levels in the soil. You may need a soil test to determine your soil's makeup. Your lawn care professional can then alter those levels with soil amendments like fertilizer, lime, sulfur, and compost.
Where to Learn More
By understanding your lawn's specific needs in these four areas, you can build a resilient, healthy, and low-maintenance lawn. Want help correcting any of these elements in your existing lawn or designing the right environment for a new lawn? Start by consulting with a landscape service that does lawn maintenance.