So you're intent on growing grass that stays green? Well, in addition to selecting the right type of grass for your yard (see Page 1), two more preliminary questions focus on lawn thatch and watering lawns. Let's consider watering lawns first.
What's the yearly rainfall to be expected in your region? In dry climates, installing an irrigation system is practically de rigueur for growing grass successfully. Meanwhile, in the misty Pacific Northwest, it is understandable that many choose to entrust watering lawns to Mother Nature. For most of the rest of us, the decision of whether or not to have an irrigation system for watering lawns will not be so clear-cut. Cost will be a consideration, but keep in mind that, in the long run, an automatic irrigation system may save you money.
One way or the other, your grass must have sufficient water on a consistent schedule in order for you to achieve the goal of a lush green lawn. If your neighbors are watering lawns with an automatic irrigation system -– and you aren’t -- you’re not starting out with an even playing field. For more information, please consult my FAQ on Irrigation Systems.
Lawn Thatch: Nemesis of Growing Grass Well
Finally, check that your grass isn’t saddled with lawn thatch:
- If your lawn thatch layer is 1/2 inch or less, you may proceed to the tips on Page 3.
- However, much of your effort in implementing the tips supplied on Page 3 will go for naught, unless you first dethatch (i.e., remove lawn thatch from) a yard with a lawn thatch build-up that exceeds approximately 1/2 inch. If you fail to dethatch, you’re not starting out with an even playing field. Why?
Here are the two major reasons to dethatch:
- Because the lawn thatch layer will prevent water from getting to the roots of your grass, effectively nullifying efforts at watering lawns faithfully…
- and because the lawn thatch layer also furnishes cover for unwanted insect pests.
If your lawn thatch build-up is right around 1/2 inch, you have a minor lawn thatch problem, for which I present easy solutions in my FAQ on Lawn Thatch. This FAQ also introduces readers to the related issue of core aeration, and to the equipment needed to perform the task.
But if you’re lawn thatch layer is, say, 3/4 inch or more, you have a major lawn thatch problem, for which you’ll need the aid of a vertical mower. Vertical mowers can be rented from your local rental center.
With the above preliminary considerations out of the way, we may proceed to the tips for growing grass that will be the envy of the neighborhood. The tips on Page 3 are much easier to implement than the advice on the present page. With the proper groundwork laid (grass-type selection, irrigation and removal of excessive lawn thatch), the rest is a breeze….