How to Have the Best Lawn in the Neighborhood
Here in the south, yards are a thing of pride. Yet having the best lawn on the block is easier said than done! Heavy rain storms, high humidity, and hot temperatures can make it feel impossible to keep your lawn lush, your plants vibrant, and your trees standing strong. We’re here to show you how to have the best lawn in the neighborhood, complete with methods we even use ourselves!
Lawn Care Tips
Your lawn is the first thing people notice when it comes to curb appeal. A yellow, balding lawn is unsightly and not very inviting if you enjoy spending time outside. Here are our top lawn-specific tips for growing healthy and lush grass.
1. Use the Correct Lawn Care Tools
There are a handful of tools you should own to keep your lawn in shape. A reliable lawn mower is hands-down the best tool you can have in your shed. We recommend a mulching mower, which is a specific type of mower that cuts the grass and leaves behind the trimmings. Recycled grass is actually a great natural fertilizer and provides nutrients for the soil without needing to do any extra work. You should also purchase a string trimmer for edging purposes. These handheld, motor-powered blades are designed to trim parts of the lawn where your mower won’t fit, such as the edge of your driveway, around large trees and their roots, or near delicate flower beds. String trimmers are ideal for touching up those hard-to-reach areas to keep your yard looking neat and well-maintained — a must if you want to know how to have the best lawn in the neighborhood.
2. Water Your Lawn Wisely
Basic garden hoses aren’t the best method for watering your yard because they don’t distribute water evenly. If you really want to know how to have the best lawn in the neighborhood, you have to water wisely. Installing a sprinkler system will ensure your lawn is watered thoroughly. Plus, you can set your sprinkler system on a schedule to water early in the morning when the heat of the sun won’t burn your grass.
3. Pick the Best Grass Type for Your Area
Not all grass types are the same. They each require different climates, nutrients, and soil to flourish and grow well. Choosing the best type of grass for your lawn will make a big difference in the appearance and health of your lawn. Depending on where you live, your options may be limited in what grass you can grow, so be aware of what conditions are required of each grass type. If you live in the Western region of the Carolinas, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass will grow best. Homes in the Eastern Coastal region can easily grow bermuda, zoysia, centipede, and St. Augustine varieties. While the Central regions are able to grow all eight of these types.
4. Take Care of Your Lawn Through the Seasons
Year-round lawn maintenance is crucial as each season brings its own changes in precipitation, sunlight levels, soil nutrients, and so on. Seasonal yard maintenance is a fundamental step you shouldn’t overlook because it helps your lawn, trees, and landscape properly transition into the next season. Download our free guide to learn how the pros tackle seasonal lawn care.
5. Aerate Your Grass Properly
Aeration is the process of drilling small holes into your lawn’s soil to allow air, water, and essential nutrients to reach all the way down to the grassroots. Aeration helps your grass’ roots grow deeper and stronger to produce a healthy lawn. In addition, aeration is also a great solution for clay-heavy soils that easily become compacted and can suffocate the grass’ roots. We recommend aerating in the fall to help your lawn recover from a stressful summer and prepare for its next growing season.
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6. Know the Basics of Mowing
Knowing how to mow your lawn properly can make or break your lawn’s appearance. First, never mow your lawn when it’s wet as it can damage both your grass and lawn mower. Instead, always mow when the lawn is dry for a clean and even cut. Try adjusting your mower’s blade for a longer cut, as this can help your lawn look healthier than it actually is. Grass that is too short can look bald, and therefore, unhealthy.
7. Apply a Lime Application
If your lawn’s pH balance is low, a lime application may be needed. Lime is a type of soil fertilizer made of limestone rock and contains compounds that help balance a soil’s acidic pH levels. A lime application can also help by making your lawn look more green in appearance, which is something every homeowner strives for.
8. Grass Cycle
Grasscycling is the process of leaving grass clippings on the lawn to work as a natural fertilizer. This all-natural method is one of the easiest ways to fertilize your grass and provides up to 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizing needs. You can also place the grass clippings in your flower beds for a nutrient boost.
9. Stay on top of Weeds
Weed control will keep your lawn healthy and keep your landscaping uniform without unattractive weeds taking over the yard. Organic DIY weed control methods such as lemon juice, alcohol, vinegar, mulch, newspaper, boiling water, essential oils, and plain salt can help get rid of a weed here or there. Weeds that are growing too large in size or numbers will likely require professional lawn care.
10. Prevent Lawn Disease
Keep an eye out for lawn diseases that can spread and take over your lawn quickly. Browning, fairy spots, and powdery mildew are just a few of the most common types of lawn disease you should watch out for as a homeowner. Prevention is essential, but if disease is present it’s best to schedule professional lawn care services early on to prevent further spreading.
11. Look for Holes
If you’re noticing holes in your lawn, you probably have some type of pest wreaking havoc in your yard. Birds, voles, moles, squirrels, chipmunks, and even wasps can dig holes in your lawn. To stop whatever is causing the holes, pay attention to the size, location, and any distinguishing factors of the hole to find out what is causing them.
Trees, Shrubs, and Other Landscaping Tips
To have the best lawn in the neighborhood, you have to the rest of your yard looking nice as well! A nice lawn is one thing, but the surrounding landscape should also be well kempt and healthy for an overall beautiful yard. Continue reading for our last tips on how to take care of your trees, shrubs, and other landscaping.
Pick the Best Trees for Your Yard
Trees are important for landscaping because they can serve different purposes for your yard. Some trees are ornamental and planted purely for aesthetic purposes or to provide shade. You can also plant a productive tree that is fruit-bearing, or an evergreen that provides year-round landscaping and privacy. Keep in mind, there’s more to caring for a tree than just choosing the type. Like grass types, each tree will have its own set of needs in order to grow. Take note of your yard’s soil, sunlight levels, and what fertilizer is needed to make sure your tree lives for generations to come.
Fertilize Your Landscaping
Fertilizing your trees and shrubs, like your lawn, is also important if you want to know how to have the best lawn in the neighborhood. Contrary to popular belief, fertilizer is not food for your trees and shrubs, but rather a supplement to encourage them to grow. Before applying fertilizer, it’s recommended that you test your soil’s pH so you can provide the correct nutrients and not harm your landscaping.
Protect Your Trees from Pests
As strong as your trees may seem, they need care, too. Protect them from wood-destroying and defoliator pests that can kill your trees over time. In the fall, band your trees for cankerworms to keep these Carolina pests from destroying your trees and becoming a nuisance.
Keep Your Landscaping Alive
Simply put, if your landscaping is dying, it won’t be very attractive. Taking a close look at your plants' roots and leaves will give you better insight as to what your plants are suffering from and what they need to thrive.
Keeps Pests Away from Your Yard
Pests can ruin your plants and your outdoor experience. In the Carolinas, there are a handful of pests homeowners can expect to come across at some point. Knowing how to identify and prevent these pests will help you keep them from intruding and ruining your grass, landscaping, trees, and so on. Also, be sure to know the difference between beneficial and harmful insects, as some insects can actually help your yard thrive. Our professional pest control services can manage pests for you.
Incorporate Natural Design Elements
Wherever you can, add natural design elements to elevate your landscaping and add charm. For example, living fences can provide much-needed privacy while boosting your home’s curb appeal. You can also try stone pathways, log steps, and boulder gardens to add natural-looking touches to your yard. Related: DIY Outdoor Design Ideas to Transform Your Lawn
Let the Professionals Show You How to Get the Best Lawn in the Neighborhood
While some people cherish time spent out in their gardens, others see lawn care as a chore and have difficulty maintaining a healthy yard. If you would rather have someone else take care of your yard for you, keep our services in mind. Our comprehensive lawn care services include everything from professional application of herbicides, turf-damaging insect control, lawn disease control, lime application, and more. Choose from several Lawn Care Service Packages to get exactly what your lawn needs. Click the button below to learn more about how we do lawn care and schedule your first service.
This content was originally published in 2018 and refreshed in 2020.