There’s nothing more exciting than growing a lawn in your backyard or at the front of your home. A lawn is the best way to beautify your home. Owning a lawn gives you the opportunity to have a lot of fun activities. You can transform your lawn into a summer haven by arranging outdoor furniture or building a shed, or you can choose to plant a vegetable garden or flowers. Growing a lawn is not a big deal and certainly not as difficult as it may seem. You don’t have to hire a landscape artist or a professional to grow the lawn of your dreams; you can get it done by yourself and also have a lot of fun while you’re at it.
To grow a lawn, all you need is good soil and proper planning. The health of the soil you want to plant in, and the type of grass you want to plant are important things to consider. There are many different types of grass and different ways to take care of them; this may come as a surprise to beginners. Growing a healthy, beautiful lawn requires commitment and research; you have to figure out the method that works for the soil and grass type you get. It takes time to achieve your desired result but as long as you take care of your lawn as often as needed, you have nothing to worry about.
Choosing the Right Type of Grass
There are many different types and grass species, but it can mainly be divided into two categories, cool-season grass and warm-season grass. Before you choose a grass seed or sod for your lawn, it is essential to understand both types of grass.
Warm Season Grass
Warm season grasses are best suited for hot, humid areas with a temperature of about 80° to 95°F. These grasses thrive in areas with really long summers and may need less watering than other grass types. Warm season grass becomes dormant once the temperature drops below 65°F. They begin to turn brown during this period but don’t die if they are well cared for. There are varieties of warm-season grass, including Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, St Augustine grass, buffalo grass, and centipede grass.
Cool Season Grass
Cool-season grasses grow incredibly well in fall and spring. This grass is versatile and can survive during cold winter periods as well as moderate summer periods. They thrive best in temperatures between 60° and 75°F. If you reside in the Northern areas of the United States, then the cool-season grass is the best for you. Regardless of how cold it gets, this grass type remains green, lush, and beautiful. The types of cool-season grass are tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. This grass type is best planted in the fall because it gives the seed enough time to grow before summer.
To know more about the different types of grass, read Different Types of Grass And How To Care For Them
When choosing grass for your lawn, there are certain factors you need to carefully consider. These factors go a long way in determining how healthy and beautiful your lawn will be. Some of these factors are
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: The area you live in is the most important factor to think about before choosing a type of grass. If you live in the Northern region of the United States that experience cold winters and moderate summers, the cool-season grass is what you need. Warm-season grasses thrive in Southern region where the summers are hot, and the winters are moderate.
NATURE OF SOIL: The nature and condition of your soil is another important factor to consider. Since the grass seed or sod is going to be planted in that soil, you need to get a type of grass compatible with your soil. Before planting anything, you need to test your soil to know if it’s in the best condition to plant. Testing your soil gives you an idea of the pH of the soil, its ability to retain water, the type of fertilizer to use, and how much you’ll need. Ensure that your soil is permeable, and it has all the requirements needed for the grass to grow.
WHERE TO PLANT: Deciding where to plant your grass is just as important as knowing how to plant it. Grass needs certain things like water, sunlight, weather exposure to grow properly, and these are things you need to factor in when deciding the location of your lawn. Keep in mind that the area you choose to grow your lawn must have the right amount of exposure to sunlight and must be close to a water source.
How to Grow a Lawn
There are two ways to grow a lawn; you can choose between grass seedlings or sod. Sod is grass that is already planted. It is usually sold in rolls or sections and is held together by roots, soil, and other components. Before planting your grass, seed or laying your sod, you have to prepare your soil.
The first thing to do in preparation for a lawn is to test your soil. This is easy to do; you can purchase a soil test kit at a local store or call a professional. When testing the soil, you look out for the soil pH. Most grasses grow best in soil with pH ranging from about 6.2 to 7. Your soil should not be too acidic or too alkaline.
Another thing to do is to clear the area you want to plant. Weeds may have grown all over the area. Clear out all the weed, debris, roots, or other materials that may be in the area. You can use a rake or shovel to clear and dig out any root in that area. You may need a chemical weed killer to kill all the weeds completely.
Improve your soil by adding organic matter; this may be manure or yard waste. This helps to improve the health of your soil and supply it with all the nutrients it needs to grow plants. If your soil type is sandy, you can add manure as it improves the soil’s water-retaining capacity and its ability to hold nutrients. Manure also loosens up the minerals in clay soil. In general, adding a bit of matter is great for all types of soil.
If you choose to till your soil, you can use your hand or a rototiller, depending on how big the area is. Tilling your soil helps to mix any compost that may have been added to your soil. After clearing and tilling, the next thing to do is level that area. You can use a rake to smoothen out the area, break up clumps and fill up the low spots.
Growing a Lawn with Grass Seed
Spread the seed: Firstly, adjust your spreader to the recommended rate for sowing the grass seed. Fill up the spreader with half of the grass seed and spread it in one direction over the lawn. When that is finished, fill it again with the remaining half and spread it in a crisscross pattern. This is so that your lawn gets maximum coverage.
Top-dress the soil: After spreading seed all over the area, you need to add some peat moss to keep the seeds in place and help it retain moisture. Fill up your peat spreader or cage roller with peat moss and push the roller across your lawn. Push it back and forth all over the lawn until all the areas are covered. This layer of peat moss helps to protect the seeds from birds and keeps them moist.
Water the seeds: For the first watering, ensure that the water gets at least 8 inches deep into the soil. Water your seeds lightly and try not to create puddles—water the seeds at least 2 or 3 times daily for the first 10 days. You should spend about 10 minutes watering the entire area. This is very important because you need your seeds to remain moist so they can germinate properly. If you choose to spray, avoid using strong sprays, so it doesn’t wash the seeds away. Set up sprinklers all around that area.
Using Best Oscillating Sprinkler may be the best way to feed your seeds with enough water. Watering your seeds is the only way to ensure it germinates properly. Be careful not to use too much water when watering, so the seeds don’t rot.
Mow your lawn: Allow the grass to reach about 4 inches before you mow or trim it. Don’t mow when the grass is wet.
Growing a Lawn with Sod
Growing a lawn with sod is faster but more expensive than growing with seed. You’ll need to purchase sod from a sod market. Make sure you purchase the sod the same day you plan to lay it; this is so that it remains fresh and doesn’t die. Before you purchase your sod, take measurements of the area, so you don’t buy more or less than what you need. Make sure the sod is slightly larger than the measurements. It should be at least 2 inches more than the measurements taken, so you have no trouble cutting the sod to fit into tight spaces and curves. Follow the steps below to properly lay your sod.
- Lay the first layer of sod along the straight edge of your lawn, preferably beside a fence, driveway, or flower bed. Do not walk on the sod while you’re laying it, and use a rake to clear up any footprint you leave on the soil. As you lay the sod, pat it down gently, so there’s no air beneath it.
- Cut the second piece into half and lay it tightly against the first. This is so that the joints are staggered, just like how bricks are arranged.
- Keep the other layers of sod tightly against each other. Make sure the edges are tightly together with no space between them, also, ensure it’s not overlapping.
- Water the sod as you lay. This is very important because sod needs to remain moist. Water your sod after laying the first few rows and water again at intervals.
- Fill up your cage roller with a little amount of water and sand and run it over the sod to pat it down properly and keep it firmly against the ground. Water your sod again after rolling.
A lot of work goes into growing and Taking Care of Your Lawn‘. You have to figure out what works for your lawn, and this is done by properly maintaining your lawn very often and feeding it with enough water and nutrients.