Get a Greener Lawn in Three Easy Steps

Growing a great-looking lawn is a labor of love that anyone can tackle.

When it comes to taking care of their lawns, homeowners seem to be one of three basic types. One doesn’t really care much about his or her lawn and strives to do just enough to keep the homeowner’s association from sending one too many memos. The second type puts some serious work into the project, but doesn’t jump into the project whole-heartedly, preferring instead to be on the golf course or wetting a line at a favorite fishing hole. The last kind is one we have all known—that guy or gal who is dead set on having a better lawn than all others, no matter how much time and work it takes. If you want to grow the best-looking lawn in your neighborhood, you’ll need these three things to make it happen.

Sprayer

handheld sprayer
This handheld sprayer is useful for a number of different lawn chores.Chapin International

If you’re going to grow a great lawn, you’re going to need a good sprayer. Great lawns are fertilized often, watered, and weeds free. A good sprayer can help you do all of those jobs and more. On the other hand, buying a subpar sprayer and hoping it will get the job done will result in more aggravation than you’re likely willing to endure. Compared to other sprayers, handheld sprayers are more economical, have a smaller capacity to make them easier to carry around, and are great for occasional use. If you’re going to be growing a large lawn, you might be better served using a professional-style backpack sprayer, which has a larger capacity and is easy to carry long distances on your back. A wheeled garden sprayer might also be a good option, especially if you have an extremely large yard and a lawn tractor to pull it.

Sprinkler

oscillating lawn sprinkler
This oscillating lawn sprinkler can water a lawn up to 4,200 square feet.Melnor

Regardless of where you live, you can’t have a great lawn without water, and in some parts of the country, it takes a lot of water! Many experts suggest watering your lawn twice a week to ensure it stays damp a good portion of the time. Choosing the type of sprinkler that will work best for you largely depends on the size of your yard and its shape. Oscillating fan-type sprinklers are good for large, square lawns, although you need to relocate them frequently. Rotary sprinklers have spinning arms that throw water in a circular pattern, but if you’re not careful, it won’t soak your entire lawn and you’ll leave corners dry. A pulsating sprinkler, which you push into the ground with its attached spike, produces 360 degrees of spray and is very versatile. In-ground sprinklers are perhaps the handiest and most efficient, but they are also the most expensive since they’re permanently installed.

Lawn Food

natural liquid fertilizer
One gallon of this natural liquid fertilizer can cover up to 12,800 square feet.Simple Lawn Solutions

Like a pet, a lawn needs not only water, but also food. While many experts recommend that you fertilize your lawn in spring when the soil temperature warms up to about 55 degrees—right about the time grass starts growing and lilacs bloom—some lawn foods allow you to feed your lawn anytime. Most lawn foods are made of a combination of three key ingredients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen, which typically is the key ingredient, helps lawns grow and remain green. Phosphorus stimulates root growth and helps seeds sprout. Potassium helps grass withstand stresses like drought and diseases. Feeds/fertilizers designated 16-4-8 are typically good for most applications. Also, getting a sample of your soil analyzed can give you important information about what mixture can help your lawn look even better.

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