First-time homeowners can be overwhelmed at the responsibility that comes with home ownership. While some of those responsibilities can be stressful, others can prove therapeutic.
Many homeowners find caring for their lawns to be an enjoyable hobby that helps relieve stress. Time spent outdoors in the warm sun helps improve mood, and a lush lawn and garden can instill a sense of pride in homeowners. First-time homeowners with no history of caring for a lawn can still turn their lawn into a lush oasis to be proud of.
Start With the Soil
Soil is the foundation for any good lawn or garden. Healthy soil will result in healthy plants and vegetables. Unfortunately, not all homeowners are lawncare enthusiasts, and first-time homeowners might discover their lawn sand gardens need lots of work. That work should begin with a soil test. Do-it-yourself soil kits are available at most major home improvement and lawn and garden centers. For those who prefer to trust a professional, the United States Department of Agriculture has Cooperative Extension System offices in every state and U.S. territory. Such offices provide valuable information to homeowners, and many even provide free or low-cost soil tests. These tests can help homeowners learn more about their soil and what, if anything, they need to do improve its health.
Find the Right Grass
Some lawns might be an eyesore because the grass is not the right type of grass for that particular region. If a grass is not a good fit for the region and local climate, it likely won't thrive or will require considerable and often costly maintenance to stay lush.
Bermuda and tall fescue grasses are popular options in many areas of North America, but it's still best to consult a lawncare professional to determine which grass is best for a given region. Learn the ins and outs of caring for the grass, including which types of seed and fertilizer are the best fit, as well as the recommended watering guidelines.
Planting new grass might seem like a big undertaking, but it's actually quite easy, even for first-time homeowners. Once a person has determined the correct type of grass to install, planting is much more simple that one might think.
* Aerate the soil. Soil compaction is a problem for many homeowners. Heavy usage often compacts the soil, making it very difficult for the lawn to hold oxygen and water that roots need to grow and absorb valuable nutrients. Aerating increases nutrient, oxygen and water movement into the soil, improving rooting and controlling thatch buildup. Hand aerators might prove effective on smaller lawns, but most lawns would benefit from a core aeration machine. For first-time homeowners, it might be best to enlist the services of a professional the first time aeration is done to learn the process.
* Spread seed evenly. Grass seed should be spread evenly over all tilled areas. Spreading can be done by hand or by using a seed spreader.
* Add a light layer of soil over the seed. Once the seed has been spread, cover the seeded areas with a light layer of soil. Some soils are treated, and these treated soils provide nutrients that encourage growth.
* Water well but don't overdo it. The soil around the seed should be moist until the grass has grown in to its desired height. However, avoid overwatering, which can drown the seed and make new grass growth impossible.
Fertilizer is a friend to lawns, providing the nutrients a lawn needs to grow in thick. When fertilizing, use a spreader. The type of spreader is up to the homeowners, but know that drop spreaders, which drop the fertilizer directly below the spreader, tend to be more accurate but take more time, while broadcast spreaders, which drop fertilizer in a pattern away from the spreader, are less accurate but cover large areas in a much shorter period of time. Avoid fertilizing the same area twice, and be patient. Fertilizing might seem like a tedious process, but if done correctly, it should lead to a lush lawn.
When fertilizing, it's best to do so during the fall and spring. The exact time to fertilize depends on the region, but it's generally best to fertilize between April and early June, and then in the fall between late September and early November.
When it comes to lawn care, first- time homeowners should not be intimidated by this sudden responsibility. Caring for a lawn can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby.
Maintaining a lush lawn can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby for homeowners.