A lush green lawn is an Australian classic. Nothing says suburban bliss like a well-manicured, healthy lawn. The only question is, how do you keep it that way? No one wants to have the neighborhood eyesore of a scraggly, unkempt front yard.
Thankfully, creating the perfect lawn care plan doesn’t have to be difficult. A little planning beforehand, a little troubleshooting, and some hard work are all you need to grow the perfect lawn of your dreams.
1. Think Ahead
Planning the perfect lawn starts earlier than you may think. You can’t just decide to jump in during the warmer seasons and expect to have the same results as a well-thought-out approach. The ideal lawn care plan can start up to a year ahead of the peak green lawn months.
Consider Your Environment
Where do you live? Different climates require different lawn care plans. Do you get dry and scorching summers that leave your lawn wilted and yellow? Do you get tons of rainfall? Does your winter season send your lawn into hibernation, or keep it going all year round?
What’s Up With Your Water?
When it comes to watering your lawn, a hot and dry environment requires an intensive irrigation system, while a more temperate environment likely requires something a little more low-key. An area with plentiful rainfall may not need irrigation at all.
Figuring out how to tackle the issue of water is essential to keeping your lawn happy and healthy. Doing the research is your best bet for making the right choice.
What Have You Dealt With Before?
Many pests and weeds are specific to different areas. Consider what you’ve faced in the past—what bugs are eating up your lawn? What plants are trying to sneak in and invade your property?
Preventing problems from different pests and invasions might require different tactics. Specific pests respond to specific treatments, and you need to problem-solve specific weeds with specific solutions. You may need to enlist a lawn care service to rehabilitate your grass and get it back into great shape.
2. A Couple Seasons Before
Remember, you can’t jump into a perfect lawn without some forethought. If an exquisitely cared-for lawn is a priority for you, you’ve likely thought about it outside of the warm weather months. Try getting started a handful of months beforehand.
When do you plant your grass? Sowing grass seed is best done differently depending on your area’s climate and the type of grass you’re planting.
In warm areas, a good rule of thumb is to plant in early spring and late in summer, and cooler areas generally ask for late summer to early fall planting. However, different grasses can switch up these rules by requiring their own plant time.
Grasses are typically broken up into two groups—cool weather grasses and warm weather grasses. For example, cool weather grasses grow best in cool climates and should be planted from the end of summer through early fall, but they can also be grown in warm climates. If they are, the planting timeframe generally stays the same.
It all depends on the kind of grass you want, from Buffalo to Zoysia grass. As long as you take the grass type and your climate into account, you should be able to decide when it’s best to plant your grass—just start planning a few seasons ahead.
3. Post-Winter Clean Up
Maybe you dread raking. Maybe you don’t truly mind looking at dead leaves and debris left behind from the fall and winter or from a particularly dry spell. Unfortunately, leaving them there is not a good option.
This probably goes without saying, but you can’t expect a healthy, happy lawn to spring up underneath a thick layer of dead leaves. This is probably the most labor-intensive part of your lawn care plan. After all, anything worth having will require you to put your back into it!
Even if you don’t live in an area where everything dies off in the fall and winter months, or you don’t have many trees on your property, chances are you still have some work to do.
Give your grass a fighting chance by cleaning up all the dead stuff and getting it off your lawn, whether that looks like a leaf blower or a garden rake. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize—a happy, healthy green lawn. The perfect lawn care plan won’t work without this essential step.
4. Fertilise It!
Okay, so you’ve sowed your seeds and tidied your lawn, now what? How do you get the ball rolling to actually grow your grass? You’ve got to give it food. Therefore, your next step is to fertilize your grass!
In mid-spring when the soil reaches the right temperature is a great time to fertilise (you’ll know the soil is ready when the flowers start to bloom), it’s time to give your grass a good feeding. Fertilizer is made up of three main ingredients, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate, which work together to keep your lawn green and growing.
You should reapply fertilizer about every month, depending on your area, the type of grass, and the specific kind of fertilizer you’re using. This will add up to a handful of applications over the growing season.
And don’t just stop when summer ends! Your grass is still growing into the fall, so help it along by adding another round of fertilizer. This will help your lawn come back stronger next year, so it’s definitely not a step you want to miss!
5. Weed Control
It’s up to you how you want to handle weeds. Some people may choose a commercial weed management product, while others may prefer to weed by hand or use mulch
Each approach is effective, and each appropriate in different cirucumstances or preference. Weeding by hand is obviously more time-consuming, and some weeds are really tough to remove, like dandelion and thistle. However, if you don’t have a huge problem, weeding manually may be the right choice for you.
If you choose to use a weed killer on your lawn, make sure you identify the kind of weeds you have. Then, make sure the herbicide you use lists those weeds on the label. If you have a variety of weeds, you may choose an all-in-one formula.
From there, you can pick different formulations, like liquid herbicides or granular products. Each formulation has different safety information and instructions for use.
6. Get Rid Of Pests
Have you struggled with insects invading your lawn in the past? If so, you may want to be prepared to deal with them as part of your lawn care plan. These pests can make your grass unhealthy or even kill it as they attack the plants.
Once you know what’s going on under the grass, you can choose the appropriate pesticide to use. Again, these come in all different forms with different handling instructions. Taking care of pests just adds another level of lawn protection to your lawn care plan.
Keep It Happy
The bottom line is that a healthy lawn is a beautiful lawn. From choosing grass seed to raking up leaves to controlling weeds and insects, creating the perfect lawn care plan is a sure bet to keep your lawn gorgeous all season long.