Each year, hundreds of thousands of houses are built in the United States. Some of them feature a lawn ranging in sizes and shapes. Most homes with lawns are owned or maintained by couples that are both working, which leaves a meager time to care for their lawn.
A lawn can be the most attractive external part of the house. Most often, the couple or the whole family loves to linger on the lawn, which constitutes a part or the whole of the yard. It may have a patio or veranda, either of which could be characterized by furniture, accessory, and various lighting systems.
Irrespective of the size and shape, a lawn can be landscaped to confer a serene shelter for family and friends to unwind or a place of solace after a day’s troubles and labor.
Caring for one’s lawn is never easy, especially, if it needs an overhaul. Landscaping is just an option of lawn care services.
Types of Lawn Care Services
Though there might be a slight difference, lawn care services are almost standard regardless of the nature of the lawn: residential or commercial.
A residential lawn belongs to one’s dwelling abode such as a home or an apartment. It promotes privacy. Meanwhile, the lawn in an apartment is more public, and caring for it is more of a responsibility of the apartment’s administration than of the individual occupants.
Commercial lawns are the ones seen on golf courses, commercial structures like casinos, hotels, condominiums, stadiums, resorts, parks, and other public offices and places.
Generally, lawn care services comprise of landscaping, sodding or seeding, aerating, mowing, and mulching. Landscaping, on the other hand also encompasses gardening and edging of the lawn, and uses different elements to arrange and aestheticize the surrounding.
Ongoing Lawn care services are also an integral component of maintenance and which involves treatment such as fertilizing; pruning of shrubs and trees included in the lawn, mowing, taking out the weeds, and watering.
Relative to the needs of the lawn, a lawn owner may engage a few or several of the lawn care services from a professional firm. More importantly, professional lawn care services are more beneficial to those who do not have the luxury of time to care for the lawn themselves.
Equally important of deliberation is the classification of materials used in lawn care services. Businesses use either organic products for fertilizer and pesticide or commercially-prepared chemical-based products.
Landscaping is the procedure of ameliorating the appearance of a certain area such as the yard. By ameliorating, it does not solely indicate that the whole surrounding should be beautified expensively. The concept of landscaping is to exude the natural scenery of the area. It is an art that employs the principles of harmony in all aspects and elements involved.
The elements involved in landscaping are the garden, accessory, furniture, and materials.
Gardening And Lawn Care
The garden is further classified into the garden per se and the lawn. There are beds for flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Trees, shrubs, and other plants can be utilized to define borders, divisions, and hedges as well.
The flowers can be seasonal like annuals or all-seasonal, for instance, the perennials.
A small yard needs to use curb lines more than straight lines to create an illusion of having more space. Regardless of the size, it shall have a small spot that offers comfort and a chance to admire the picturesque which composes of the plants and the lawn.
The lawn is purely the lush and thick green turfs isolated by pebbles or stones. At times, a lawn can be of different shape and size scattered throughout the yard of large or medium size. The lawn can be formed by different types of grass, relative to the area’s climate zone.
Water is prevalent and the most favorable accessory in every lawn, irrespective of the presence of landscapes. Small lawns can benefit from birdbaths, single-tier fountains, or small ponds. Medium to large lawns feature fountains such as having double, triple, or multiple tiers. Sometimes, the fountain constitutes a bigger embodiment such as a wishing well or a large pond, where it is graced by lilies and school of fish.
Statues, too, are another accessory of a yard. Goblins with nearby mushrooms as well as fictional and cartoon characters are the common choices. There are also symbolical objects erected on the lawn.
Nothing can be more relaxing than having furniture in the yard. The roofless yard can use furniture made of plastic or steel. Chairs, swings, hammocks, chaise lounges, and dining sets are a few of what can be seen in the yard.
Roofed patio or verandas may showcase furniture made of wood. A certain process of making furniture that is making its popularity rating higher is wicker furniture. It uses bamboo, rattan, and other related wood materials.
Lawn care Materials
In a yard where the beds are protected, a barrier made of concrete is a practical choice if pets and small children are around. The concrete enclosure can be further finished with bricks, tiles, or stones.
Moreover, small lawns normally establish the flower beds bordering the shape of the yard.
Woods, particularly bamboo, also make an attractive low-level fence to enclose the beds for all other plants and the beds for the grass. The encasement of either the lawn or the garden may adopt various shapes such as a pyramid, round, or quadrangular.
A lawn is a stretch of land, plowed, mulched, or prepared in different methods to have beds where grasses can be cultivated. Constructing a lawn entails several processes known as services bestowed by professional lawn care businesses and which are carefully undertaken to produce beautiful green scenery.
Lawn Care Service Included Sodding and Seeding
A lawn can be constructed from seeds or existing turfs. In the latter, an instant lawn is possible. The process is called sodding with the lawn known as a sodded lawn. The lawn owner, in this circumstance, may only have to do maintenance to ensure that the grass retains their good health while establishing a strong root system beneath the soil.
Seeding, the procedure of creating a lawn from grass seeds has more benefits including maintaining full control over the choice of grass types grown and cost-efficiency. Obviously, seeding is cheaper and more practical because the selections are greater in range, plus, the efforts required are less physical.
Seeding A Lawn
Seeding challenges one’s patience and determination. To have lawn strong enough to endure the wear and tear and foot traffic, it must be cared for properly. Caring for the lawn begins in its foundation, the creation itself.
Lawns are sown in mid-spring or mid-autumn. Professionals lawn care services prefer to sow seeds in mid-autumn because the lawn has the entire winter season to develop. Also, winter is a time when most of the yard is not used. Whereas, if seeding takes place in spring, then the whole area is not usable for the entire summer, a time when everyone loves the outdoor.
Besides, sowing in autumn makes the whole process easier as rainfall is abundant, rendering the soil well-moistened and paving the way for germination and primary growth to take place. Preparing the soil for seeding
The first step to preparing the soil is determining the area where the lawn is cultivated. Baring the earth of anything is essential. This includes bricks, stones, rubble, weeds, and other plants. Weeds and plants should be taken out along with their roots using a spade.
After clearing the site, ensure to level it up. However, sometimes, lawn owners prefer to contour the area instead of leveling it. Contouring is a tremendous task many prefer to hire professional lawn care services to have it done. If hills and valleys are present in a lawn, drainage is a very important consideration. Valleys are where water is mostly collated, making the lawn difficult to grow.
In leveling the soil, the topsoil must first be removed, then the level of the subsoil is changed. When the desired level is attained, replace the topsoil. Subsoil left on the surface will affect the growth of the grass.
If the area is free-draining, draining it is not a necessity anymore. Nevertheless, if the area needs to be drained or establish drainage, there are three methods to do it. First, individual drainage must be built either at three or four points on the lawn. Second, the whole area is drained at all points using free-draining materials beneath the topsoil. Third, a herringbone pattern of pipes is mounted underneath the topsoil.
Using a fork or a mechanical cultivator, the area must be dug, during which incidence, the pH level of the soil can be corrected and the hardness of the soil be adjusted. The ideal pH level of the soil is between 6.0 and 7.5. To amend the soil, compost or lime-free sand are two good choices.
At this stage, the soil is further broken down, leveled, and fallowed. Fallowing the site allows the dormant weed seeds to germinate and be removed, thereby, preventing the weeds to germinate when the seeds were sown germinate as well. Fallowing can be done using a rake or a hoe. Finally, rake the entire area.
The seeding process in lawn care
In sowing grass seeds, the uniform distribution must be kept in mind. This can be attained by using a device to help you measure the number of seeds you are scattering. The lawn is sown systematically beginning at one end until you reach the other end using the device.
The lawn seeds, upon purchasing them from the nursery come with instructions on how much of them are used per square meter. However, if instructions are absent, prepare 30 to 60 grams of seeds for every square meter.
Cover the soil by employing a direction of top to bottom. When there are seeds left, spread them using left in the right direction. If you left bare patches, fill them up. If you have a spreader, it will help you scatter the seeds more efficiently, covering every square meter of the area.
Maintenance After Seeding
After the lawn is sowed with seeds, it needs several services to ensure healthy growth and strong roots system. The following are a few of the common lawn care services you can avail from a professional lawn care service provider or that you can do by yourself.
Immediately after sowing, a connection by the seeds to the soil must be established. This can be done by mulching. Using a spreader, fill it up with peat moss, compost, or any other finely-textured organic matter. Push the spreader back and forth over the lawn covering the entire area. Remember that the entire lawn must not be mulched with more than ¼ inch.
A good alternative to mulching is raking. It is more preferable especially in areas where the winds are strongly driving the mulch away. Rake the soil gently, helping the seed connect to the soil instead of making them loose.
From time to time, birds may peck on the seeded area. To protect it, cover the lawn with twigs.
Watering Your Lawn
After the mulch is spread, water it. The first watering is very important. Ensure that enough water is applied to moisten the soil to about 8 inches deep. Also in watering, take much care that the seeds are not washed away or that you do not create puddles.
For a lawn that is about to bud, hose sprinklers are preferable. In time, when the lawn has grown, a sprinkler system might prove a better option.
When the lawn has reached three inches in height, it shall have its first mowing experience using a lawnmower. Because the first instance of mowing is crucial, make certain that the blades are very sharp to have clean cut through the grass blades, otherwise, the grass will be pulled out by their roots.
If your lawnmower comes with a grass clippings catcher, it should fit very well so you do not have to toil in taking the grass clippings. If the blades of the mower are adjustable in height, adjust them to a high level which can cut the top off the grass blades, ensuring that the grasses are not cut at a very short length. It will be hard for the grass to recover when cutting at a very short length, plus, there is a great chance that the grasses will lose their vigor.
In every subsequent mowing, you can adjust the blade to a lower height until it is ideal for the type of grass you want to constitute the lawn.
Different Lawn Care Services Treatment
Fertilizers are the food of the plants, including the grass that makes up the lawn. Depending on the stage of the grass, the fertilizers vary.
Starter fertilizer is ideal for seedlings that are germinating. It contains among others, the essential phosphorous and potassium for strong and healthy roots. It must be applied during the last stage of soil preparation, just before seeding takes place.
Fertilizers and other treatments should be avoided in the germinating stage as the chemicals can damage or kill the grasses while they are in pursuit of establishing their roots.
Lawns that are sodded, sprigged or plugged also require similar nutrients for strong networks of the root systems.
Nitrogen is crucial for the composition, condition, and health of the grass foliage. It is generally added into the fertilizer in the later stage when it can be labeled as an established lawn.
Weed Control and Prevention
Live mulches and corn gluten meal help control weeds because they die in suffocation. This type of method is classified as organic. However, in most established lawns, weeds may become a constant nuisance. Weed preventer or controller products may be used. They are also easily available in the market. These products are often in formulas sprayed like fertilizers.
Natural weed prevention includes manual processes such as pulling out the entire weeds by their roots.
Aerating Your Lawn
As lawn develops and ages, soil compaction may result. The compaction of the soil is further enforced by activities such as sustaining heavy foot and vehicle traffic. Compaction languishes the pore space beneath the soil that normally holds air or oxygen essential for the root’s survival.
In time, it will affect the ability of the grass to absorb nutrients and water. Aeration is the process of removing small soil plugs or cores using aerators, specifically, core aerators. This equipment extracts cores of soil measuring ½ or ¾ inches in diameter and lodges them in the lawn. The holes made from aeration are between 1 and 6 inches deep and 2 and 6 inches apart.
Edging Overgrown Grass
The grass in the lawn may grow and spread beyond the area allotted. Sometimes, this calls for edging to restrict the grass to grow only on where it is supposed to grow. Having said this, edging refers to the act of cutting the excess grass off the edge. Lawn edgers can be purchased at home improvement stores for around a hundred buck. Of course, when you use professional lawn care services they have the tools to get the job done effectively.
At times edging is done before mowing especially if the mower is equipped with grass bags so clippings from edging can be picked up as well. As you can see, lawn care services are comprised of more than just mowing the lawn.