Nearly every homeowner dreams of having a lawn that looks similar to a golf course, but struggles to do so. Here are some of the best tips to achieve the lawn of your dreams.
Choosing the Right Grass
It’s important to choose a type of grass that can tolerate both hot summer temperatures, as well as cold winters and drought conditions. Bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass are great options in southern climates and Fescues and Kentucky Blue Grass are better in more northern climates.
We highly recommend using a reel mower to achieve a golf course looking lawn. Similar to a pair of scissors, a reel mower uses a reel and a bedknife to cut the blades of grass. Whereas a standard rotary mower uses a single, sharpened blade that spins. A reel mower cuts grass cleanly and precisely, and allows you to cut grass at lower heights than a rotary mower.
Regardless of the type of mower you use, however, you should always ensure that the blades are kept sharp. If mower blades are not sharp, they will tear the grass instead of cutting it. Tearing grass will turn it a gray color and can make it susceptible to disease.
Another tip is to avoid mowing your turf too short. Cutting your lawn too short can also make it more prone to disease, stress, and damage. Keeping your lawn at a height of 1 to 2 inches keeps it healthy and promotes deep rooting. You should mow weekly and only remove 1/3 of the blade height, to avoid causing too much stress on the turf.
You’ll also want to fertilize on a regular basis and use the right product. To determine what is best for your lawn, you may want to sample and analyze your soil or ask a local nursery for suggestions. It’s best to use a fertilizer that slowly releases organic nitrogen, such as Milorganite 6-2-0, into the soil only as grass uses it. This type of fertilizer will prevent excessive top growth, which can lead to disease and insect problems.
You also want a fertilizer that contains iron, which gives a deep green color to grass. Iron is not a nutrient that plants need a lot. In fact, Milorganite 6-2-0 only contains 4 percent organically chelated iron. What’s great about the iron in Milorganite 6-2-0 is that it won’t stain concrete and is readily available to the grass. This is much better than the sprayable liquid form of iron or the iron in dry granules.
The biggest mistake most homeowners make with their lawn is overwatering. The key is to water deeply and infrequently. Deep watering promotes deep rooting, which allows for greater intake of nutrients and water during times of stress, such as during a drought. Over watering the turf doesn’t require the roots to have to search very hard for water, which means the roots are more likely to stay near the surface. Then, with hot temperatures, the grass is likely to turn to a straw color.
Weed and Pest Control
Have you noticed that golf courses generally don’t have weed issues? This is because the turf on fairways and greens is tight and thick, which keeps moisture and light out. Moisture and light is what weed seeds germinate best in. A good fertilizer will fill in thin spots so you won’t need to do any hand digging or spraying to avoid or remove weeds.
A healthy lawn can grow rapidly and provide a lot of top growth, which attracts bugs and disease. So again, be sure to use a fertilize with slow release nitrogen to limit the amount of top growth and therefore discourage insects and disease. If insects and disease do attack healthy and fertilized grass however, it is ready to grow back because it is being evenly fed and the damage is minimal.
Having a healthy, beautiful lawn requires the best tools, products, and attention. We hope these tips help you better understand the needs of your lawn and avoid making common mistakes that can be detrimental for your lawns growth.