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Suburban living comes with many perks one of which is having ample space at the back and front of your home to use as you please. Most neighborhoods have an open plan design which implies that your front yard is subject to the scrutiny of onlookers. This design forces homeowners to perform routine grounds keeping with a particular focus on plants in the front yard. Regardless of the design of the neighborhood, a well-maintained lawn is appealing, and it provides a safe ground for children and pets to thrive in. Here are a few tips to guide you in keeping your lot clean.
Mow the lawn
Mowing is probably the most common yard maintenance practice, especially over spring and summer. If you enjoy the privilege of having a patch of grass leading up to your home, you need to mow on a frequent basis to maintain a healthy growth of grass. Find a reliable machine like a lawn mower to help with trimming the grass and set the correct mowing height to match the season. For instance, let the grass grow taller in the hotter months by shifting the cutting deck to a higher level. Tall grass keeps that soil moist by reducing the rate of evaporation from the ground. Also, tall grass tends to have deeper roots and hence, the lawn can withstand prolonged periods of drought. Take caution when running the mower up and down the yard to avoid over trimming. Cutting the grass too low exposes the lawn to diseases and weed infestation, a process known as scalping. If you scalp the lawn repeatedly, the roots become weak and therefore susceptible to harsh weather elements and drought. Brush over the yard to remove excess grass and leave your lawn pristine.
The growth of plants is not limited to a patch of tilled land. Weeds like dandelions can sprout even in the middle of a perfectly manicured lawn thus watering down your efforts to keep a tidy patch of grass. Plan ahead and apply a weed killer generously throughout the lawn to prevent weeds from germinating when spring arrives. For best results, manufacturers recommend that you use a weed killer during autumn when daytime temperatures are usually above sixty degrees. Since the lawn is likely to be accessed by children and family pets, ensure that the treatment you purchase does not have harmful compounds that may irritate the skin. Read the container’s label back to see the instructions given by the manufacturer.
While cleaning up after mowing is standard practice, leaving some bits of grass clipping on the lawn comes in handy in sustaining healthy growth. This process is known as grasscycling. The leftover clippings act as mulch nourishing the soil with the necessary nutrients to aid the subsequent growth of grass. Grasscycling requires small bits of grass that decompose quickly to form the mulch. To achieve the size of grass suitable for grasscycling, replace the mower blade with a mulching blade. Use an adaptor kit for your mower to prevent the grass clippings from exiting the mower blade.
Rake the leaves
As the term goes, the leafy suburbs have tree-lined streets which help keep the temperatures cool and enhance the look of the neighborhood. Having plenty of trees means around your home means that there will be plenty of leaves falling on your lawn particularly when high winds bellow. Practice raking the leaves as often as possible to keep these leaves from forming a blanket over the grass. If you allow the leaves to pile up, they are likely to get wet from morning dew or showers then form a soggy layer over the lawn.
As the layer gets thicker with more leaves, the grass underneath becomes suffocated and due to lack of air, and it eventually dies or suffers from stunted growth. A layer of damp leaves creates a microenvironment that harbors disease-causing fungi. If many trees surround your lawn, the amount of leave fall can be overwhelming especially if the lot is big. To save time, you can opt to use a lawn mower that is fitted with a collection bag so that you collect leaves as you mow the grass.
Ensure you follow the correct yard maintenance procedures especially when operating the lawn mower. Avoid cutting in the same pattern each time as this will compact the soil and encourage the growth of weeds. Establish a maintenance regimen and make adjustments as the seasons come.
Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants