Nothing says summer quite like walking barefoot through the cool, fresh grass. But many products that promise a greener lawn often recruit the use of thick, heavy pesticides that can be harmful to your skin and health. To help keep your grass thriving all summer long, follow these easy tips!
- Remember, you want to help your lawn fend off pests and weeds naturally, so your first step is determining the pH level of your soil. Soil testing kits are relatively inexpensive and will give you a good idea of the acidity or alkalinity of the earth in your area. You may need to add lime or sulphur depending on the results, and these can be purchased at garden and home improvement stores for very little money.
- Once you’ve got your soil test results, add organic fertilizer (the amount will be determined by the soil test) and cover with about an inch of organic compost. This supplies the necessary nutrients your lawn needs to thrive – and the more you can boost its natural immunity to invaders, the healthier and greener it will get. Once you’ve added the organic compost, rake the area over to allow the new soil to settle and the water to drain easily.
- When choosing a lawn grass, get the most resilient kind you can for your particular area. Check with lawn and garden stores and nurseries about what grows well where you live. For best results, grow native grasses or choose natural groundcovers that tend to grow quickly and spread easily.
- Be mindful of weeds and pests that try to invade your lawn. Ask a local landscape or garden center about insects or birds that eat these types of pests, and what you can do to encourage them to stay. Even so-called “organic” pesticides can contain harmful chemicals – so the more naturally resistant you can make your lawn – the greater it will look.
- Water your new lawn every day when you first sow the seeds or plugs. Make sure that the ground is saturated, but not to the point that you get runoff or puddles. Watering in the early evening, especially in the summer, will help prevent your lawn from getting scorched by the sun and still allows the grass to dry by nightfall.
- You can start mowing your fresh new lawn when the grass reaches about three inches tall. Adjust your lawnmower so that you cut off no more than the top third of the blades each time you mow. How often you’ll need to mow depends on the type of grass you choose. Consult a landscaper or garden specialty store for more information.
- Finally, be sure to add a new layer of organic compost to your lawn every spring. This will help replenish the natural nutrients it needs to ward off pests and look its best!