Kevin Smith, owner of Smith Lawn Care, has been working in yards since he was old enough to earn his allowancelabor he loved so much he started his own company. Smith Lawn Care provides a whole range of services from mowing and weeding to grading and tilling to brush and tree removal to plant, shrub and tree installation.
But the lawn’s the thing come spring, the grass is high in summer and, given the fact that not everyone in Nashville knows the basics of lawn care, we sat down with Smith for a brief primer on dealing with your fairway (or weed-infested postage stamp). Needless to say, if you don’t want to deal with it, call Smith Lawn Care at 429-7092. Their prices are extremely affordable and Kevin’s always on call.
How high should you cut your grass?
In the spring, 3 inchesbut no lower. Cut it lower and it will be brown for the first couple of days, and won’t look good. (And what you want is a good looking lawn.) In summer, meanwhile, you should cut 3 1/2 to 4 inches. This length clips the tops of the blades, gives your lawn a fresh look, but doesn’t allow drought to burn it as badly come late season.
What kind of grass should I use for my yard?
Keep in mind that Zoysia won’t grow in shade. Bermudagrass is also a poor shade grass, and though it does well in sun, it has a tendency to spread to garden beds very quickly. On balance, everyone in Nashville should use fescue. It’s a hearty grass that does very well in sun and shade.
Do I have to use hay when I’m overseeding?
What is aerating and when should I do it?
Put simply, when you aerate your lawn you poke holes in ita process that prevents soil compaction, a condition that is often the main cause of problems with your lawn. When you aerate your lawn, you make it easier for the soil to absorb oxygen, water, fertilizer and others nutrients, which in turn makes for healthier grass. It’s an extremely important part of total lawn care.
Assuming that you’re using fescue, you should aerate in fall. (Bermudagrass and zoysia should be aerated in spring.) If you’ve missed fall, spring is okay too, up until March. For small lawns, you can take a spading fork and jab your lawn in crisscrossing rows, pushing the tines down as far as they’ll go. For larger lawns, rent a power driven core aerator (you can get one at Home Depot), and go back and forth over your lawn as if you were using a lawn mower. You’ll notice a huge difference in the quality of your grass the following spring.
When do you water?
For your lawn’s protection, you should always make it a habit to water in the evening (after sunset) or early in the morning, for 20 to 30 minutes. Watering during high sun hours increases the likelihood of mold developing on your grass, and also, the sun will heat up the water on the blades and damage your lawn.
How do I turn my yard from weedville to fairway?
The fastest, simplest way, is to tear up your lawn and put down new sod. Of course, the choice to put down sod or not becomes a cost question, but only in terms of initial outlay. People shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that sod is too expensive. Depending on the size of your lawn, it may be the best way to go, and the simple fact is that it saves a lot of time. Put down new sod and within two days, you have a brand new yard that’s easy to maintain.
But for those that want to work at transforming their lawn over time, the process is simple, but it’s a process. This summer, use a good weed and feed product. (Smith recommends the products at Lesco, 2974 Sidco Drive, 244-2820). Come fall, you want to aerate your lawn and then overseed it. (Be sure to use a seed starter product if you’re starting a lawn from scratch.) As well, you want to treat the lawn with a posmergent fertilizer. You can still overseed in winter, and should use winter ryegrass. That spring, overseed again with fescue and fertilize. Follow these instructions to the letter and within a couple of years, you should see a marked difference in the quality of your lawn and the density of weeds.
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