Lawns are one of the best things that can happen to a property. They are beautiful to behold, lush, environmentally friendly and so much more. A lawn is simply an area of property covered with grass and sometimes other kinds of plants. There are two types; natural grass and artificial grass but the most popular and the cheaper option is the natural grass. You can learn more about it in this article.
The major reasons for owning a lawn are for the aesthetics that they add and also for recreational purposes such as having a party, playing with friends and family, or for relaxation and enjoying nature. You will find them around apartments, houses, recreational and city parks, office complexes, and so on.
They are also useful in sports and when used in this regard, they are usually referred to as a field, turf, pitch, or green depending on the sport that will be played on it. A lawn can sometimes be a requirement by city and housing laws to be included when building a house. They are maintained by watering and keeping the grass at a short height with the use of a lawnmower.
Benefits of Having a Lawn
Having a lawn comes with some advantages. Probably the most important of these is that it helps the environment. Here are some of the benefits you get by including one on your property.
Improved Air Quality
Naturally, the environment is filled with dust particles and dirt but a lawn helps to filter these instead of drifting into the air. Grasses, like most plants, depend on carbon dioxide which is toxic to humans and animals. They take these in and release oxygen, making the air pure and healthier. Impurities such as smoke can also be easily trapped in the blades of grass and dew as well as precipitation help to wash them down into the soil.
Adds Aesthetics and Increases the Value of Your Home
Keeping your lawn well-groomed adds to the beauty, serenity, and aesthetic value of your home. It has been found that it brings anything from a 100% – 200% return on your investment. It also increases the resale value of your home. The simple fact that its appearance is attractive makes it more appealing to potential buyers.
For Relaxation and Recreation
The value of having an open space like a lawn to play, have a picnic, play games, or just to sit or lie to enjoy nature cannot be overstated. They provide a safe place for you and your family to run and play. You can easily keep an eye on the kids to see whatever they are up to even while seated at a place. You can indulge and relax in a hammock or lawn chair, watching the stars at night. Family gatherings, parties, fun games, and nights can also be observed here.
It Helps to Control Soil Erosion
Erosion usually happens when there is loose soil and water is trying to run off. Wherever erosion takes place, the space is left quite ugly. What roots of grasses do is that they can keep the soil tightly packed and in place because of their extensive root systems which prevent erosion when there is a run-off of water.
Improves Water Quality
Water run-off from asphalt and other road surfaces are acidic. Grasses help improve the quality of this kind of water by trapping any pollutants contained in it. Also, microbes that are contained in their roots help break down these pollutants, reducing its acidity and ultimately resulting in a better quality of rivers and lakes as well as water pumped from the ground for home use.
Makes the Soil Better
Clippings from grass and grassroots when your lawn is mowed eventually decay and add nutrients to the soil, making the topsoil better. This creates a suitable and necessary environment for living things such as earthworms, fungi, bacteria, ants, and other microorganisms to thrive, which in turn helps to create a balanced and healthy ecosystem.
It Reduces and Cuts Home Cooling Needs
Grasses from lawns help reduce the sun’s heat and effect via evaporation. While cement and asphalt may reflect or absorb and then give out this heat much later, grasses and flowers absorb these emissions as well as heat from the sun and use it for its growth in the process of photosynthesis. This automatically translates to cooler air to the home since the grass has absorbed most of the sunlight coming through and ultimately lowering cooling costs. Another way this is achieved is through trees planted around the lawn which gives shades and keeps the direct impact of the sun from windows, walls, and roofs.
It Reduces the Risk of a Fire Hazard.
Due to its short height, wetness, lack of dry grass or shrubs, and space around lawns, they act as a fire break and as a humid barrier to wildfires. This prevents fire that is burning at a point from spreading to other places.
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Treating and Maintaining Your Lawn
Lawns are made up of grasses and are subject to getting overgrown, to weed and pests. They need to be watered regularly to help maintain their green color and also mowed so they are not overgrown but remain at acceptable heights. What are some of the ways to get yours looking classy, beautiful, and attractive? Before considering this, you may wonder if taking care of yours by yourself may be better than employing the services of professionals to do it for you.
The best way to answer that is to consider what professional lawn care services do. Below are some of the things that they do.
It is not just enough to mow your lawn, it needs constant and consistent seeding or over-seeding. This is when new seeds are added to fill thinned-out, patched, or bare spots on the lawn. It helps to give a fuller and denser look. It also helps to get rid of weeds and pests as it becomes more resistant to diseases and insects. It can also be used as an opportunity to add a new variety of grass. Seeding or over-seeding is usually best done in the fall and spring in preparation for summer and winter as they have lots of warm days and cool nights.
Healthy soils should have space for the circulation of water, air, and nutrients as this is what will make your grass grow green and lush. For clayey or compacted soils, this is not the case so there is a need to turn and aerate the soil, making it loose so it can allow proper circulation of these elements.
Aeration should be done at least once in three years. It is done using an aerator which is a device with metal tubes that is rolled over a lawn. It will remove plugs of soil and deposit them on the surface making holes that will admit water, air, and fertilizer which makes the soil loosen up, encouraging easier grass growth. Aeration is best done before doing a top dressing or adding fertilizer.
Fertilizers are important to any growing plant and the grass on your lawn is not any different. They help add nutrients to the soil that will enable growth. It is recommended that this should be done up to 5 or 6 times in a year based on the need of your particular lawn.
There are different types of fertilizers; slow-release synthetic, fast-release synthetic, and organic (slow-release natural). Fast-release gives quick-fire nutrition and rapid growth. It may however distract from the proper formation of strong roots and when the going is tough, this will show in the sense that the grass can dry up much later.
Slow-release fertilizers, on the other hand, give a steady and gradual supply of nutrients which can last for a long time, even years, making the grass grow strong roots. You will not likely see the effects immediately but when you do, it is for the long haul.
Organic fertilizers are also slow-release but can be anything natural, from bones to dead plants, dung, processed sewage, etc. Before their effects kick in, they need the action of microbes in the soil. They are also effective and long-lasting.
Lawn care companies like Heroes lawn fertilization company can recommend, help you select the best kind of fertilizer, and apply it in the appropriate way especially when using synthetic ones as too much of it can burn the grass and also pollute watersheds.
Improving the Soil
This may seem minute but a very important part of your lawn growth is the soil and treating it to be in the right conditions for grass growth is essential. The soil’s PH reading must be balanced – not too acidic or alkaline. Fertilizing the soil does not solve this. Your soil should have a PH of between 6.5 and 7.0 which is slightly acidic. This gives your grass an advantage when it comes to weed growing alongside it.
This is another thing that lawn care professionals will help you do. They will test your soil to be sure it has the right PH and when it does not, they apply lime or any other substances needed to make it balanced.
Controlling Weeds, Pests, and Diseases
Lawn care companies also help you control weeds from growing on your lawn through various methods and means. These include competition which simply refers to making your grass thick enough that weeds cannot grow in there. Re-seeding which was earlier mentioned also helps with this. They can also use pre-emergent herbicides that kill the weeds before they sprout.
Another method of controlling weeds is using post-emergent herbicides which is when herbicides are applied after the weeds have sprouted. This is usually limited to some variety of weeds and to those that have a history of weed problem so the herbicide does not kill the grass itself. Other methods include physical removal and weeds can also dry out naturally.
Some pests and diseases affect grass just like other plants and all lawns do have these. This can be due to weather and other climatic factors. These pests can include grasshoppers and bugs. Diseases are mostly caused by fungi and it can be due to too much fertilizer, not enough water, or other factors. Lawn care professionals help you to get rid of all these and many more, making it safe.
Basic Lawn Care
If you are trying to treat your lawn by yourself, you may not have the expertise needed to do all the above so it is always advisable to call upon professionals to treat and maintain it occasionally. While you may need professionals to do major work on your lawn, here are ways you can do some basic things to keep it tidy and clean.
You can either mow by yourself if you have the time and resources or get professionals to do it for you. The important thing though is that you should do so often as it not only helps your environment look kept but also makes it safe to walk, sit or play in. You should be careful when doing chore so as not cut it too low to expose the roots. It is recommended to keep it at a height of between 2.5 and 3 inches.
You should water your lawn thoroughly and generously but not too often. This will allow the grass to develop deep roots which will make it harder and more resistant to draughts. To know when it is time to water, you can use the rule of thumb which suggests that the color of the grass should be dull and your footprints should stay compressed for a few seconds. The ideal time to water your lawn is in the early morning before the sun rises. This prevents the water from getting lost to evaporation. Depending on your grass type, this can be done once a week or once every two weeks.
Get Rid of Debris
Picking up dirt, debris, or litter from your lawn often will make it clean, attractive, and safe. It also makes it easy to mow. Ensure you get rid of any stones too so it does not damage the mower.
Having a lawn is great as it enhances your property. It is however essential that you take care of it often. You can either do this by yourself or you can employ the services of professionals.
With the information we have shared here, you should be able to handle some of the basic care that it will require. That said, remember that there are more intensive care needs that will be necessary to keep your lawn in the best of shape. It may just be better for you to allow professionals handle these for you.
Your focus should be getting the best outcome for your lawn. This should be your ultimate goal.