Maintaining a manicured lawn — mowing, watering, fertilizing — can quickly monopolize precious summer time. Why not consider the alternatives?
Whether you want to be savvier with your resources or eliminate the monotonous patch of green altogether, here are the top tips for achieving a low-maintenance lawn.
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Smart Lawn Care
If you’re not ready to give up your grass, make sure you’re caring for it efficiently.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is cutting their lawn the wrong height, said Bob Malgieri, manager of lawn care and tree shrub division at Borst Landscape and Design in Allendale, N.J. “Mainly they cut it too short,” he said. “When it’s cut too short, the root system and soil are exposed to the sun. You get more weeds and the lawn basically just doesn’t do well, as opposed to keeping it to 21/2 to 3 inches.”
To effectively hydrate a lawn, the water must be absorbed by the grass root system. Frequent, shallow waterings are not effective, and watering during the daytime when the sunlight can evaporate the water can waste a lot of the precious resource. Malgieri recommends an irrigation system for the best results.
“You’ll never be able to water well by hand and get it consistently throughout the lawn,” Malgieri said. Irrigation systems deliver a controlled amount of water that ensures coverage across the entire lawn.
Another big mistake is to over-fertilize the lawn. Simply leaving clippings on the lawn is a great way to naturally fertilize grass. “It’s the most organic thing you can do, as long as you have a mower that mulches the clippings,” Malgieri said. “There are a lot of nutrients in those clippings. You’re actually feeding your lawn as you’re cutting it.”
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