Weeds, weeds and more weeds! That’s how I used to view my lawn until I came across a few simple steps to help me along the way. I must be honest, when I first set about treating my lawn as described below, I didn’t hold out much hope. After all, I’d tried pretty much everything I could think of, and nothing seemed to work.

let that Blade of Grass Bloom!

You might find this first tip to a better lawn a little odd, I know I did. I mean surely having short grass promotes growth, and a stronger blade in general right? Wrong! It turns out that you should allow those blades to get their heads in the sun because that’s where they get the majority of their nutrition. So, when it comes to mowing your lawn it should always be done at the correct height. As a general rule of thumb during fall and early spring, the blades should be about 2 to 3” in length. This does change depending on the type of grass you have, but never go below 1.5”.

Finding the Right Lawnmower

There is a certain science in finding the right lawnmower, and I’m sure I still don’t have it knocked. The only thing I will say is it’s not worth just going on price, brand or how many bells and whistles it comes with. Of course, you should take into account the amount of noise a certain model will produce, especially if you live in a built-up area (you don’t want the neighbors shouting at you). You should also think about how thick your grass (or weeds) is right now. Different models of lawnmower are usually designed to deal with certain thicknesses. If you want to know more about choosing the right lawnmower, I suggest you take a look at best lawnmowers because they have tons of information.

Fertilizer “Shmertilizer”!

Yup, it’s true. If you’re anything like I was you’re always down at the local garden center buying that precious lawn fertilizer that professes to make your garden grow. What can I say, I’ve always been a sucker for the pictures of the perfect lawn on the packaging! It turns out that this stuff does very little for the grass – why? I hear you ask. Well, as I mentioned grass gets it’s “food” from sunlight – not fertilizer! Its worth knowing that when you pop this so-called “miracle” grow on your lawn, it’s promptly eaten by all the little bugs that live in the soil. By the time your grass gets to have a go, it’s not even food! All it does is allow the plant to create more cells for the purpose of photosynthesis (something it’s quite capable of doing with the aid of sunlight).

set the Clippings Free

We’re obsessed with leaving our lawns free of clippings these days. That’s why mowers with collection boxes are so popular, but by doing this you’re probably not doing your grass any favors. If you leave the clippings to rot back into the soil, you’ll be providing it with much needed nutrients which the grass can feed on. This is one tip I stick by religiously because it saves me time emptying the collection box, and I save on the dreaded manufactured fertilizer. Plus, I’m helping the environment. Do bear in mind though, that your clippings will only provide about a third of the amount of food your lawn needs. So, the odd bag of fertilizer around early fall and when the frost has just arrived isn’t bad idea.

set the Clippings Free

Lastly, make sure you have a sharp blade at all times when mowing. The last thing you need is for the grass to be ripped up from the soil by its roots. Oh, and don’t over water (a mistake many of us make). Just to give you an idea, most grasses only need between 1 to 1.5” of water each week. Having a water collector will help you decide if the skies have opened up enough. If they haven’t, you will need to add some but be careful not to overdo it. Follow the tips above, and I’ll bet your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood!