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4 Frugal Steps to a Meaner, Greener Lawn

Posted on: 12/8/2017 at

Is it just me or does sometimes it feel like the grass really is greener in other people’s yards?

I can see them now, sporting lush lawns and a smug grin, with people whispering off in the distance, “at this time of year?!”

Well, my friend, I have good news. You too can sport a leafy lawn as your neighbors gawk with envy.

 

But here’s the best part:

Instead of recommending you spend thousands of dollars or pitching you on our services, we’re going to give you fast, actionable, cheap tricks (no reference to 1980’s hairband) to keeping your lawn lush and your grin smug.

 

Mowing Smarter Will Get You Farther

Don’t mow your lawn every week!

Don’t believe me?

Just ask Mark Schmidt, principal scientist at John Deere.

Taller grass holds more moisture and stays greener than short grass. Plus, it shades the soil, helping to keep the roots wet.

 

Here’s some tips:

Set your mower deck to three inches or higher
Inspect the grass right ­after mowing.
Always make sure your blades are sharp, but if not,
Get a replacement blade ($10 to $40), or
Take your mower for a tune-up ($75 to $200).

 

WARNING: Don’t Feed The Plants

When a lawn turns brown, it’s not dead!

It’s just gone dormant to save energy for cooler, wetter times.

You may be tempted to apply fertilizer and weed control products, but we’re here to be your better judgement.

As Oregon State University horticulture professor, Alec Kowalewski says,

Those chemicals will not help a heat-stressed lawn, they will burn it.

 

Time is Money, Friend

Dragging around the hose and sprinklers may do more harm than good.

John Stier, a consultant to several NFL teams, says,

Coming in and out of dormancy can kill the lawn. So don’t water unless you’re going to be consistent about watering all season long.

And let’s face it,

That’s probably not realistic with manual efforts,

So you can either let nature take its course or go for automatic irrigation,

Which can be a $2,000 – $4,000 expense.

If you choose to go this route, ask the installer to arrange sprinkler heads into zones based on any subtle nuances of your property.

This is so that shady, sunny, poorly drained, and sloped areas can get their own watering needs.

Editor’s Note: A rain sensor will save money down the road by overriding sprinklers when it rains.

 

Aerate in Autumn

If you think of lawn restoration as a continuous project, it can seem daunting

So let’s break it down season by season.

In the fall, plan to aerate and top with compost and a mix of grass seed suited for your specific climate.

By repeating this process for several seasons, you’ll gradually improve the soil and grass type,

And this will make your lawn not only more drought-resistant,

But more lush and leafy.

Warning, improvements to your lawn may cause your face to bear a smug grin.