It’s spring in Middle Georgia and your lawn needs some care to keep it in tip-top shape. Having a great lawn in this heat takes quite a commitment. Here a few tips to make sure you have a GREEN springtime lawn that stays beautiful throughout the growing season:
In our area, most likely your soil has either too much clay or sand and/or very little organic matter. This hinders your lawns ability to break down thatch which is dead grass and other decaying plant matter. Plus, if your soil is clay, any water will remain in the ground without draining. Because of this, thatch can’t decompose like it should due to the lack of organic material.
If you have a hardy topsoil, the thatch will retain water and balance its production. So, if your soil is lacking, you can address and fix this problem. There are two ways to do so, one is to add soil and till it into the ground before laying the sod. The second way is to amend the soil by top dressing and adding small amounts of ORGANIC soil over time.
Depending on you grass type, the thatch level in your lawn should be between ¼” to ½” in depth. If you have more than that, your lawn can be susceptible to disease. When the thatch reaches a higher level than what’s right for lawn, then you will either have to invest in replacing the lawn or de-thatching the whole thing. To avoid over-enthusiastic thatch production, don’t over fertilize, over water, underwater or cut your lawn too short.
Watering your lawn is the easiest thing you can do to keep your turf happy. Unfortunately, this is also the most common lawn care task that homeowners do INCORRECTLY. You want to keep your lawn happy so you continually provide water to it. In reality, it is best to water your lawn LESS often but run for a LONGER period of time. Watering two to three times per week for a sufficient time is typically adequate. The reasoning behind this is if you water less often the top of the soil will start drying out and your turfs roots will have to grow deeper to get the reserved water. In time, this encourages a drought-resistant turf that requires less overall care.
Core aeration is something that is overlooked by many homeowners. When you aerate your soil, it can pay for itself in the water savings alone. There are five main reasons for aerating your lawn; fights soil compacting, gets air to the grasses roots, helps to control the thatch levels, adds needed nutrients into the soil, and will promote new grass root growth in the area of the core holes.
Grass needs nutrients to grow, to help maintain a root system which is healthy and to tolerate stress when the weather is hot. Fertilizing your lawn is essential to keep diseases at bay and your grass stress-free. This is why the application of fertilizer with crucial nutrients is essential.
Depending on your grass type, the grass can grow faster or slower in Georgia weather conditions. For example, Bermuda type lawns can grow up to several inches in a week under the proper set of circumstances. Cutting on a weekly schedule is important to keep the lawn healthy and maintained. If you mowed the lawn every two to three weeks, it could become stressed and start to thin out. This will increase the need to water and to fertilize.