4 Ways to Make Your Lawn Work for You This Year

make your lawn work for you

“I’m tired, I’m thirsty, these weeds are bothering me, I don’t feel like growing in this spot—it’s too shady, hot, wet….” Do you ever feel like you’re a full time employee for your lawn? You work hard, you spend time and money to control the constant nagging of your turf, and sometimes there’s nothing to show for the service you give to your lawn.

We’ve compiled a list to turn the turf in your favor. Stop working for your lawn; below are four ways to make your lawn work for you, so you can sit back and relax.

Replace the M with a B

Be the boss of your moss, not the employee. Many people spend lots of time and energy trying to control moss on their lawns. Try to work with your lawn, not against it. Instead of worrying about how to control moss, replace it with mulch, hostas, or another shade-loving plant. Be wary when you spread fertilizer—moss loves to grow in the cracks and crevices where fertilizer collects on hardscapes.

Let The Weather Do The Watering

make your lawn work for you

Installing a rain barrel can save you money and take care of your flowers at the same time. Rain water can also help stabilize the pH in soil, creating better growing conditions for your plants. In addition, collecting it can divert water away from your foundation and prevent unwanted runoff. It’s a win-win-win.

*Be sure to check your local laws and regulations; some governments/municipalities claim rainwater belongs to them, not your 50 gallon drum.

*Don’t use rainwater on edible plants if your roof has been treated with zinc or anti-algae chemicals.

Mow the Right Way

make you lawn work for you

You may think that mowing shorter means you have to do it less often, but that’s just asking for trouble. Don’t ever take off more than a third of the total grass length. Mowing regularly is a great way to ensure your turf grows thicker. Keep the mower deck high to keep your grass healthy and the weeds at bay. You can get away with mowing shorter in autumn, when there is less sunlight available for your lawn. You should also vary your mowing pattern: mow east to west one week, north to south the next.

Let It Reign

make your lawn work for you

Exercise your newfound power over your lawn to take matters into your own hands. By following a specific water regime—letting it rain—you can encourage healthy lawn growth. Watering longer and infrequently is preferred over light and frequent watering. A good soaking encourages deep penetration and saturation. This watering method also encourages roots to reach deeper for a drink when they need it, which leads to a healthier lawn. If the lawn gets a small sip every day, the roots won’t penetrate to get the water since it’s on the surface, resulting in a shallow root structure and a lawn less likely to recover from damage. Don’t water during the peak sunlight hours, stick to early morning if you can.

If you have any questions about how to follow these tips or would like some help beautifying your lawn, make sure to contact your local Spring-Green —our lawn care professionals will give you the peace of mind that your lawn is in good hands. We’ll become the full-time employee for your lawn, and we know just what the boss wants. Now you can relax and laze away your Sundays!

5 Tips to Controlling Moss In Your Lawn

Moss in your lawn

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you are all too familiar with the annual battle to control moss in your lawn. The long periods of cool damp weather that the area is known for sets up the perfect climate for moss development. It is generally a problem in the spring, but it can persist and grow throughout the remainder of the year if environmental conditions are conductive for its growth.

Moss can be a problem throughout the US, not just in Washington or Oregon. Here are 5 best practices that will reduce moss growth in your lawn:

Eliminate shade

One of the best ways to control moss is to improve the amount of sun that reaches the turf. Consider pruning trees and shrubs to increase sunlight penetration.

Improve drainage

This can be accomplished by adding a bioswale or a rain garden to catch stormwater runoff.

Water deeply and infrequently

Over watering is a great way to increase moss growth as well as several types of algae. Allow your lawn to dry out before applying any more water.

Mow high

Mowing short will reduce the vigor and growth of most home lawns. The grass blade is the food producing part of the plant. The shorter it is, the less food will be produced, which in turn will lead to a weaker plant. Weak plants cannot out-compete moss.

Fertilize properly

Except for Centipedegrass, most lawns require anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf per year. Check with your County Extension office for the recommended amount to apply to your lawn on an annual basis.

There are several approaches to controlling moss, potassium salts or sulfate products such as ferrous sulfate or ammonium sulfate. There are also herbicides that will control certain types of moss. Look for products that contains carfentrazone as one of its main ingredients. Be sure to read and follow all label directions when using any of these products.

moss in your lawn

Consider having your soil tested. Most County Extension offices offer this service at a low cost, usually less than $20. If the pH of the soil is too low (acid), the addition of lime may help reduce the amount of moss by encouraging better turf growth through improved nutrient utilization by roots of the turfgrasses.

Core aeration will also help by reducing compaction and will help the turf roots to grow and expand. Keep in mind that it is especially a good idea to plant grass seed that is shade tolerant if the area has a good deal of shade.

Finally, it is important to understand that if there is too much shade, grass will not grow well. The area may need to be replanted with shade tolerant ground covers or perennials. Most grasses need about 70% sunlight during the day to grow well. There are a few turf grass types that will tolerate a little more shade, but it is sometimes easier to stop fighting the battle and change to ground covers or hostas.

To find out more about moss and ways to control it, contact your Neighborhood Lawn Care Professional at Spring-Green.