A New Homeowner’s Guide to Yard Maintenance

by Alexander Griffin
A New Homeowner's Guide to Yard Maintenance

Congratulations, you’ve made it! Through blood, sweat, and tears, you’ve purchased a new home—and not just any home, but a home with a yard.

Think of all the things you can do with that outdoor space. Afternoon barbecues, lawn games, and even wasting hours staring at the lush, green lawn are fun to imagine. But aren’t you forgetting something?

There’s the little matter of being responsible for yard maintenance.

As a first-time homeowner, you may have never taken care of a yard properly before. Sure, you may have mowed the lawn plenty of times as part of your chores growing up, but what about the other vital yard work? What about lawn fertilization, weed control, or watering the lawn?

If you don’t know where to begin, continue reading to learn some essential yard maintenance tips for a healthy, green lawn.

Yard Care Requires Proper Watering

While it seems like a no-brainer to water your lawn, how much water is where new homeowners tend to get confused. Both under and over-watering can have adverse effects on your grass.

In general, your lawn should receive 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week, which also factors in rainfall. It’s best to water deeply two to three times a week instead of daily. Also, the perfect time to water is early in the morning, from 6 AM to 9 AM, to keep the grass hydrated throughout the day.

Fertilization Is a Critical Part of Yard Maintenance

The grass gets its nutrition from the soil. But over time, nutrients can leech out of the ground due to rain and irrigation, among other things. That’s where fertilization comes in.

Fertilization supplies and replenishes the essential nutrients your grass needs. In particular, fertilizer contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), represented as the N-P-K ratio. It’s preferable to fertilize at least twice a year during the seasons of active growth, typically early spring and fall.

Mow to the Correct Height

There’s an art to mowing, which may be the reason why some people find it relaxing. Aim to cut only the top 1/3rd of the grass blade at each mowing. It will help stimulate growth by removing the hormones that suppress growth at the tip of the blades.

Cutting the grass too short is known as “scalping,” which stresses out the grass too much. That’s why in summer, it’s best to set the mower to the highest cut setting to help the grass endure the added stress.

Weed Control and Aeration

Weed control and aeration are both crucial elements of lawn care. Sadly, these are tasks that not a lot of people do.

You always have to deal with weeds when you have a lawn. Hand-weeding is a tried-and-true method; it’s not fun, but it gets the job done. If weeds have taken over your yard, you may need to have it treated by a professional.

Aeration uses a machine to poke holes in the soil. It allows your lawn to breathe, improving oxygen and moisture delivery and fertilizer uptake. It’s best to aerate every fall after suffering through the summer’s heavy foot traffic and heat.

Who Needs a Green Thumb?

Even as a newbie in yard maintenance, you can still ensure that your lawn remains healthy throughout the year. By following these grass care tips, you can achieve every American homeowner’s dream of having a vibrant, green lawn.

For more home improvement tips, please feel free to browse our site.

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