How to Maintain Your Own Lawn

I recently spent some time teaching myself on how to maintain my lawn well without paying big bucks for someone else to do it.  The situation arose after realizing that I love spending time in my yard and, because of that, would rather do it myself than pay someone else to do it.  This provides me with a hobby I enjoy along with some financial savings.

Is Do It Yourself Lawn Care Worth It?

Taking the time is definitely worth it for me.  After sitting at a computer for days at my day job, I can’t beat getting outside and doing some lawn work.  I must admit that getting a great lawn is hard work and takes time, but once everything starts getting green and pristine you may agree that it’s all worth it.  Here are some questions to consider if you would like to be in control of your lawn.

  1. Do you have a lawn?
  2. Do you enjoy working outside?
  3. Do you enjoy solving problems you know little about?
  4. Do you consider lawn maintenance a potential hobby?
  5. Do you want to save money by not paying someone else to care for your lawn?

If you answered Yes to question 1 and a few of the others then consider yourself a prime candidate for DIY lawn care.  In the end,  I can buy fertilizer for about half the cost of paying someone to do it and it only takes about 5 minutes.  The one task I still plan to outsource is aeration since it is quite a cumbersome process.

Can Anyone Maintain a Lawn?

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can maintain a lawn.  You just need to know where to go to find the information you need.  I was lucky to come across the website of a local lawn expert – WalterReeves.com.

As far as getting your grass to look great here are five key tips.

  1. Cut your grass weekly and use a mulching mower to save time (less bagging) and make it look good (dead clippings help feed the grass).
  2. Fertilize regularly – this made a huge difference after a few seasons (click here for calendars that tell you when to do each lawn care step).
  3. Water when needed – if it hasn’t rained much in a week then check the forecast and if no rain is coming soon then water.
  4. Replace your mower blade every 1-2 years – this allows the mowing process to be helpful rather than harmful to the grass.
  5. Aerate annually – helps to loosen soil and spread roots (I recommend outsourcing this step).

Here are some additional steps to consider in certain situations.

  • Reseed annually – this applies to grasses like fescue that don’t spread on their own.  Grasses like Bermuda will take care of themselves.
  • Maintain soil pH with lime – Certain weeds grow well in acidic soil.  Buy a soil test and check to see if you need to use lime to alter the pH.

Just follow the five key steps and you will be amazed like me that an extra few hours worth of work can make a huge difference.  Be sure to be patient though since your lawn won’t change over night.

For more information, try these.

  • Google any question you have on lawn care.
  • Talk to experts at a local lawn & garden nursery.
  • Check out some books at the library on lawn care.

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