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Lawn Maintenance

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Lawn Maintenance - The Natural Way to Lawn Improvement

Lawn Maintenance -
The Natural Way to Lawn Improvement
by ian Williamson

Nothing says summer quite like walking barefoot through the cool, fresh grass. But many products that promise a greener lawn often recruit the use of thick, heavy pesticides that can be harmful to your skin and health. To help keep your grass thriving all summer long, follow these easy tips!

1. Remember, you want to help your lawn fend off pests and weeds naturally, so your first step is determining the pH level of your soil. Soil testing kits are relatively inexpensive and will give you a good idea of the acidity or alkalinity of the earth in your area. You may need to add lime or sulphur depending on the results, and these can be purchased at garden and home improvement stores for very little money.

2. Once you've got your soil test results, add organic fertilizer (the amount will be determined by the soil test) and cover with about an inch of organic compost. This supplies the necessary nutrients your lawn needs to thrive - and the more you can boost its natural immunity to invaders, the healthier and greener it will get. Once you've added the organic compost, rake the area over to allow the new soil to settle and the water to drain easily.

3. When choosing a lawn grass, get the most resilient kind you can for your particular area. Check with lawn and garden stores and nurseries about what grows well where you live. For best results, grow native grasses or choose natural groundcovers that tend to grow quickly and spread easily.

4. Be mindful of weeds and pests that try to invade your lawn. Ask a local landscape or garden center about insects or birds that eat these types of pests, and what you can do to encourage them to stay. Even so-called "organic" pesticides can contain harmful chemicals - so the more naturally resistant you can make your lawn - the greater it will look.

5. Water your new lawn every day when you first sow the seeds or plugs. Make sure that the ground is saturated, but not to the point that you get runoff or puddles. Watering in the early evening, especially in the summer, will help prevent your lawn from getting scorched by the sun and still allows the grass to dry by nightfall.

6. You can start mowing your fresh new lawn when the grass reaches about three inches tall. Adjust your lawnmower so that you cut off no more than the top third of the blades each time you mow. How often you'll need to mow depends on the type of grass you choose. Consult a landscaper or garden specialty store for more information.

7. Finally, be sure to add a new layer of organic compost to your lawn every spring. This will help replenish the natural nutrients it needs to ward off pests and look its best!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lawn Maintenance: Things To Know When Building A Swimming Pool.

Lawn Maintenance

When you decide to build a swimming pool, the work doesn’t finish with filling it with water. Aside from the pool itself, which will serve as recreation and fun for the warmest days of the summer, we also have to think about the surrounding area , for example a lawn, and choose the most suitable material to pave it. This decision is more important than you think, since security and hygiene are factors we must be able to count on in this zone. For one simple reason: we frequently resort to the lawn when using the pool because it’s natural, fresh, and offers a break from splashing in the pool to soak up the sun.

However, not all kinds of grass are suitable. You have to consider that around the swimming pool, the lawn must fight against excessive humidity, the corrosion caused by chlorine and continuous footsteps of the swimmers. In spite of the disadvantages, it’s a perfect option to rest and take in the sun, as well as the best, most natural, non-skid and hygienic material.

A swimming pool poses the dilemma of every gardener: either a resistant lawn to handle all the traffic and some of the “aggressive” ingredients that the water contains, or a "pretty" lawn; because when walking barefoot, the quality and smoothness of the leaves can really be appreciated. These are characteristics you normally don’t find with the most resistant varieties.

Recommended types:
The grass that you’re going to install must meet a series of requirements:

· Resistant to the sun
· Able to withstand footsteps (traffic)
· Resistant to salinity, chlorine and other chemicals
· Maximum ornamental quality (dense and fine)

Having said that, "the most recommended lawn" is the one that has mixture of the following seeds: poa pratensis, festuca red, English ryegrass and agrostis tenuis. Any balanced mixture of these species is adequate for these surroundings ". In addition, poa pratensis is perfect for avoiding excessive maintenance tasks.

However, there are solutions on the market for every taste. From brand names that offer pre-made mixtures of the most suitable varieties, to artificial grass “carpets” that can be a nice permanent solution.

Additional maintenance tips:

· Assist the drainage using a thorn to help filter the water better. This is specially important at the edge of the swimming pool, where there always is an excess of humidity. Don’t forget that between the lawn and the swimming pool there must be a meter and a half space that separates them, for cleanliness, aesthetics and safety. It’s essential to incorporate a path of some sort to and from the pool and a shower to wash between bath and bath, since the lawn and the dirt can soil and cloud the water easily.
· Scarifying consists of eliminating dead weeds and vegetal residues that remain on the lawn which can choke or prevent the passage of fertilizer. It’s recommended to spend some time with this activity once or twice a year.
· Finally, air the zone using a specific tool. Puncturing the surface will make the turf able to oxygenate. Once that is done, cover the holes with crowd, or a mixture with sand.

Lawn Maintenance

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lawn Maintenance

Lawn Maintenance -

Myths About Lawns
By Kenneth C. Hoffman

Here’s the situation: your lawn looks terrible, you can’t afford a professional lawn service and you’re thinking of getting a goat. In some places the weeds are taking over, the crab grass won’t go away and there are mysterious bare spots you think is due to a dog but you‘re not sure.

Fist let me dispel the myth that you can get rid of your weeds permanently with weed killer. The weed seeds in your lawn will keep coming up as long as there are seeds and dirt. What you have to do is kill the seeds before they come up. The way you do that is to put down seed killer after the last frost of the winter. You may need two applications for a serious problem. Most weeds are annuals therefore they die every year from the frost. So you get a fresh chance every year to start with a practically weed free lawn. Scotts makes a good seed killer product.

Bare spots not due to dog business can be raked sharply and seeded in the spring. Urine in the earth will not allow seeds to germinate and must be replaced with fresh dirt. Fresh seed of the root runner type is good for filling in bare spots. A garden center should have Windsor or other seed varieties that send out root runners. Another method is to dig up a plug of grass from a hidden area and fix the problem instantly. Try to use the same kind of grass so it doesn’t show different colors.

A dry spell in August generally browns off the lawn. By cutting the grass higher than usual, it will stay greener, longer. Fertilize twice a year, once in late spring and once at the beginning of Fall. The organic type fertilizer is best because it lasts much longer, doesn’t burn and requires fewer applications. Acid soils need an application of ground lime for good growth. Many evergreens and perennials need an acid soil, so don’t get any lime near these plants. Grass likes sun so feel free to cut down some overhanging branches or even whole trees if necessary. Water the lawn after dusk for less evaporation and water long enough for the roots to be penetrated. One heavy watering a week is worth three days of light watering. A drying out period is good for the grass since the roots will seek out the water at a lower depth.

A sharp blade gives a clean cut without the usual ragged tips that brown easily, making your lawn look less green. Clean the mower bag frequently with a power hose in order to keep a good volume of air going through the bag. During heavy growth times like May and September, it is best to collect all the clippings for the compost pile. Alternate the direction and mowing pattern for an even lawn without wheel ruts. Just as you can tell the character of a person by his shoes, a beautiful lawn sets the tone for your whole home.

Retired portrait photographer now writer.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lawn Maintenance - Basic Lawn Care Knowledge

Lawn Maintenance -
Things you must know to keep your lawn in the best shape

Great lawn maintenance can be a tough job, but there are a few simple things you can do on a regular basis to avoid having to rescue a "lawn gone bad". By then the work you'll have to put in is on a far major scale...

For managing your lawn in the best possible way, these are the main things to consider. For example, it really helps to scarify for weed control. Not only that, scarifying stimulates and fortifies lawn growth, of course in combination with proper feeding. Worm control is very important, because nothing attracts weed seeds more than worm casts. Utilizing a good fertilizer acts directly against weed growth and really helps your grass to be much stronger and healthier.

I know of people that only feed their lawn once a year. I say only, because that is not enough for the great lawn maintenance you want. It's essential that your lawn receives it's spring feed. When buying your fertilizer for the spring feed, make sure it has nitrogen in it along with phosphates and potash. A summer feed, if you got a lawn that looks bit tired, should be performed by applying a proprietary lawn care tonic or a fertilizer that's rich in nitrogen. It's recommended that your fall lawn feed include most of all potash and phosphates.

Watering your lawn once a week should be enough, unless it's remarkably hot. You could rely on the weather (rain) to do the watering for you, but when spring ends and summertime kicks in, your lawn experiences dry periods. You can easily spot when that happens; the grass color changes from beautiful green to brown-ish. Almost everybody know this, but I will mention it just in case: Always water your lawn early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it's cooler. If you have a rotary sprinkler, even better.

Finally, proper mowing of your lawn is really important, but you already knew that, right?

Well, you would be amazed of how many people out there go about mowing their lawn all wrong. Your lawn should be mowed regularly, because that's what keeps a "field of grass" looking attractive. Make sure your blades are sharp, and not set to low. The following lengths are usually applied: For grass that's a little more coarse, a 1 inch length can be maintained.

Finer grass can be mowed to a 15 mm to 20 mm length. Operate the mower in one constant direction and at a smooth pace, with not back and forth movement. It's also recommended that you mow your lawn when the grass is dry, that way you won't have to deal so much with the mower clogging.

Good lawn maintenance requires a lot more detail, but these are the basics you should know to get started.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Lawn Maintenance

Hi everyone and welcome to my Lawn Maintenance blog!
All kinds of resources and other stuff regarding lawn maintance will be
posted on this blog.

So check back soon for great tips about lawn maintenance!