Having a nice healthy lawn is not just for show. A well-cared-for lawn has many practical benefits as well. Lawns work as a natural trap for dust and erosion control. About 12 million tons of dust are trapped annually by lawns in the U.S. alone. Healthy lawns also provide great protection for runoff because they can absorb about 6,000 gallons of water, preventing excess water from escaping. In addition to dust and runoff protection, lawns help substantially improve air quality. A 2,500 square foot lawn can provide enough oxygen for a family of four. Not only providing oxygen, but the average lawn can also provide a cooling effect, working as efficiently as nine tons of air conditioning.
What goes into creating and maintaining a healthy lawn?
We all know that watering your lawn is important. However, we may not realize how important it really is. In order to maintain a healthy lawn, it’s recommended that you use about 1 inch of water per week preferably delivered over 2-3 watering sessions. Mowing is also a key factor in keeping your lawn in shape. The ideal mowing height would be at 2 ½ – 3 ½ inches in height and to not remove more than 1/3 of the grass’s overall height.
The next step would be to ensure that your lawn is receiving the proper nutrients it needs to grow and flourish. Fertilizer provides these key nutrients and is a great food for your lawn. This fertilizer should be a nitrogen compound that is applied in a ratio of 4lbs per 1,000 square feet over the course of the growing season. In the fall, fertilizer with potassium should be used in order to ensure proper root development. This will give your lawn the strength it needs to bounce back quickly in the spring!
The final key component to a beautiful and healthy lawn is to aerate. Aeration helps break down the thatch layer, which will allow nutrients and sunlight to penetrate the soil. In addition, aerating will break up compaction and give the roots more space to grow, allowing for a fuller, thicker lawn.