As spring and summer rolls around, we all want to know how to solve common lawn problems. After all, our backyards and front lawns are the focal point of your outdoor space. Even a gorgeous garden can’t always distract from overgrown grass or brown spots. In preparation for the outdoor season, we’ve decided to solve three common lawn problems that are always an issue in our backyard: the best mowing tips for spotless lawn work, the easiest way to create stripes and checkerboard lawn patterns, and how to prevent dog spots on the lawn. Solve common lawn problems and learn the best way to maintain and care for your grass, and you’ll watch a beautiful green yard grow in front of your eyes!
Mowing Tips for Spotless Lawn Work
Lawn work can be deceptively difficult for a weekly chore. After all, we all want our lawns to look good, but what’s the best way to maintain them? The following five tips will help you with the most basic of lawn maintenance tasks: mowing! This expert advice will make lawn mowing a breeze, and your backyard will look ten times better as a result.
- Clear your lawn before you get started. Pick up trash, rocks, and other debris that might have gotten into your lawn over the past few weeks. Mowing something other than your lawn can ruin your lawn mower; plus, something like paper will just get shredded and blown all over, which leaves an even bigger mess!
- Keep your lawn mower blade sharp. Once or twice a year, dedicate some time to sharpening that blade for a clean, healthy-looking cut.
- Mow strategically. First, take the mower around the edge of the yard two times. This gives you enough room to turn the mower around while you mow the middle.
- Use a trimmer, not just a lawn mower. For picture-perfect edges next to walkways or gardens, use a vertical trimmer. This is an easy way to ensure grass won’t be overgrown along the sidewalk or flower bed, which can look sloppy.
- Don’t wait too long–or not long enough!–in between cuts. Sure, it’s tempting to wait another week, but letting grass grow too long isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Long-grass lawn work will ultimately end up taking you more time to cut; you’ll have to frequently stop to unclog the mower, and you may even have to move twice–once at a higher setting, and once at a lower one. The same warning applies to cutting the grass too short. This can actually damage the lawn and make the grass dry out more quickly; plus, if your lawn mower is hitting against dirt, you can damage your blade!
How to Create Lawn Patterns
Have you ever wondered how professional lawn mowers create lawn patterns? It seems like the complicated sort of skill that would take years to learn and perfect, right? Actually, we looked behind the curtain, and it’s actually pretty simple!
So how does striping work? Essentially, the fancy striped effect you see on beautifully manicured front lawns or baseball fields is just an effect of the sun reflecting off the blades of grass. Blades that are bending towards you look dark, while blades bending the other way look light. Before you begin mowing, you’ll need to decide what kind of pattern you want. You can even make a sketch of how the pattern will fit your lawn so you know exactly what to do when you’re mowing! Simple stripes are a great beginning pattern; as you get the hang of it, you can graduate to checkerboards or even diamonds!
When you begin to mow, make sure you’re mowing in a straight line. Try lining up your first stripe parallel to the driveway or a sidewalk for an easy guide. When you get to the end of a row, lift your mower up and then move in the opposite direction. If you want to create a checkerboard, mow the lawn again, but at a 90 degree angle to your first mowing. We also recommend mowing at the highest setting, which will create softer grass that bends over easily. And ta-da! Your lawn will be covered in neat, beautiful lawn patterns that are sure to be the envy of the neighborhood.
Prevent Dog Spots on the Lawn
You may have noticed that your beloved pooch has been causing brown spots to form in your lawn. This is due to the high nitrogen concentration in your dog’s urine. Now, you can’t keep your dog from doing his business, so how do you prevent these dog spots on the lawn?
The key is water! After your dog goes to the bathroom, hose down the spot on the lawn or pour a bucket of water over it to keep the urine from setting. You can also create some sort of gravel or mulch area in the backyard that you can then train your dog to go to the bathroom at if you don’t want to lug a hose around the yard all the time. Either of these simple fixes will stop the dog spots and keep your lawn fresh and lush!