Other then the color of your house the size of your lawn and if it is maintained properly really has impact on how your property looks. With just a few tips you can get your lawn looking like you pay hundreds of dollars a month and it will only take you a couple hours a week if that.
The most important thing that you have to remember when taking care of your lawn is that it is a living thing. If you expect it to look its best then you need to take care of it just like you would your flowers or shrubs.
Inspecting your Lawn
Before you get started you should take a good note of the health of your lawn. Walk your property and look for bare patches, weeds, mismatched grades or types of grass and soil that should be replaced.
Also look for problem areas that take more time then usual to care for. You can eliminate string trimming areas around fences and shrubs with mulch or a herbicide.
Once you have gathered the fixes you need to make you can get started making them right.
Mismatched grass types can be cured by over seeding. Visit your local supply center and ask what type of grass works well in your area. You may also want to mix a blend of cool and warm weather grass / low and full light grass .. to improve the number of months that your grass will look good through out the changes in season.
Weeds are easy to get rid of with a granular herbicide applied once in the spring and once in the fall.
Cutting your lawn
Whether you are using a tractor or an electric lawn mower it is important that you are able to adjust the height of your blade to match the type of grass you are growing and the season.
You should never cut more then 30% of the height of the grass unless you are reclaiming a lawn that is in serious disrepair. You should find the optimal height for your grass after cutting then add 30% to know when your grass needs trimming.
First in the summer months when there is little rain you want to cut your grass at a higher height. About 3 inches high is a good start and it will provide shade for the grass roots, reduce watering needs and reduce weeds from growing.
In spring and fall when your grass is getting good light and rain you want to cut your grass at the appropriate height for its type. Fescue grasses like to be cut from 2.5 to 3 inches high. Bermuda grasses like to be cut about a half inch lower. Check with your supplier and the height should be on the bag when you buy seed.
Bagger or no bag?
If your grass is high enough that it is clumping up after you take a pass at it you may have either allowed it to grow too long between cuts or it could be wet. In most cases the need to bag your whole lawn is not necessary.
If you do have a bag attachment then you should make the first pass around your property edge at the street and your driveway with the bagger. This will give you enough margin that you can cut the rest of your property and you won’t need to sweep up when you are done.
If you have let your grass grow too long or if you have a lot of weed that is seeding and you want to remove the seed then bagging your whole property is not a bad idea.
Fancy Patterns when cutting is not important but some people like to crosshatch their yard by making a second pass at a 45 degree angle after cutting to the appropriate height.
When not to cut your grass
When temperatures are over 90F you should not cut your grass. If you do need to reduce its height then set the height to 3 inches and cut your grass at sunset. Don’t cut your grass in the morning or afternoon because once it has lost its moisture it can brown.
Don’t cut your grass on the same day as an event. First the freshly cut grass will cause stains on your visitor’s shoes but the higher traffic will cause damage that will take time to grow back. If you are having a party then cut your grass the day before and that way you have time to devote to your guests.
Also never cut your grass right after a rain or while it still feels moist from morning dew.
If you apply herbicides or fertilizers to your lawn then read the directions it will probably say wait a week to 10 days before cutting.