BK’s Guide to Lawn Maintenance Basics
If you grew up in a Jamesport neighborhood or a similar one elsewhere, there’s a good chance that when Spring came around, a teen went house to house asking if the neighbors wanted their lawns mowed. It’s a typical first job for suburban New Yorkers, one that we often start before we’re old enough to collect a W2. That may give you the impression that lawn maintenance is simple, and if kids do it, surely any adult can. Well, it’s time for a rude awakening, much like when your next-door neighbor starts mowing the lawn at dawn on the weekend. Maintaining your property is more complex than pushing (or riding) a mower in straight lines. Done correctly, it takes expertise and attention to detail. Here’s BK’s guide to lawn maintenance basics. Getting Started The beginning is an excellent place to start, and one could argue that for grass, the beginning is Spring. And we’re currently at the start of the mowing season, and the start has a few considerations to take into account. Firstly, the first mow of the season’s purpose is to remove the unhealthy, unsightly grass from the winter. During the cold weather, it protected your roots, but that grass has served its purpose now, so we say thank you and goodbye. For that reason, the first mow of the season sometimes cuts the grass a bit shorter. Now is also the time that we take account of the health of grass so we know what we need to do in the realm of Spring lawn care. Grass is Grass, or Is It? Here’s something you may not know. Not all grass is the same. There are 1800 known species of grass, most of which grow in North America! That number may seem overwhelming, so you’ll be relieved to hear that grass is divided into two categories: cold and warm-season grasses. Each has different height recommendations. Time of the Season In addition to the grass species, the current climate is a significant factor in how we perform lawn maintenance. While different species’ ideal heights vary, for all, that height gets higher as temperatures do. That’s because your grass needs protection from the height, and cutting your grass too short during the hot summer can lead to a (literally) killer sunburn. Pretty as a Picture? Let’s Frame It. Everything we talked about so far has related to mowing. And chances are those neighborhood kids making their first dollars weren’t aware of it when they started. The following tasks go beyond the basic mow many of us are familiar with. We’ll start with edging. Edging is what separates a fine lawn from a grand one. It provides the framework for your lawn, which makes it stand out beautifully, but it also has practical benefits. Framing makes mowing and trimming quicker because it defines the lines before you start. It also prevents grass from getting into your hardscaping, driveway, and gardens. We create that edge by digging a shallow, thin trench with an edging tool around your lawn’s borders. You Missed a Spot If mowing is the broad strokes and edging is the frame, trimming is the fine detail of lawn maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find a perfectly level property. And all the bumps and inconsistencies in a yard show up in the lawn. A lawn mower can’t get into every nook and cranny, so there will likely be some grass cow licks sticking up at the end of a mow. Trimming is the process of evening them out along with all the other inconsistencies left from the mow. Edging reduces the amount of trimming necessary, but there will still be spots around obstacles like stones where trimming is required. Don’t Blow It! On Second Thought, Go Ahead. When you mow a lawn, you probably notice that you get grass clippings on your shoes. Those clippings tend to get everywhere if you’re not careful, including your driveway gardens and hardscaping. We blow all those clippings away from where they don’t belong, so your grass stays on your lawn! Proper Care Goes Beyond Lawn Maintenance Even with all the additional information we shared about lawn maintenance today, that’s only the beginning of lawn care. Your lawn has other needs to stay healthy, like aeration and overseeding. Call the Pros for Your Lawn! We hope you learned something new today about your lawn. We’d love to take things a step further and start caring for your lawn for you. If you want landscapers who take maintenance to the next level, call the pros at BK!