Have you ever wondered what makes one lawn look so much healthier than another? It could even be in your own neighborhood- maybe even your next-door neighbor. While a lot of people think that getting a nice lawn is pretty simple to do, the truth of the matter is that there is both a science and an art behind a superb lawn and it’s not as easy to achieve as you might think.
For some people, just having a decent lawn without a crop of dandelions is enough to make them happy but others find fun competition in having a lawn that neighbors envy. To those who really love their lawn, having lush green grass is like showing off a freshly waxed sportscar in the driveway.
If you’re one of those people who would really love a green lawn, there are some lawn care secrets we can let you in on. These are things you should already be doing or plan to have done if you truly want to have the best yard on the block.
1. Proper Lawn Mowing and Edging
In our region we aim to keep the cut height around 3 ½ to 4 inches. When mowing and edging, be careful not to scalp edges, which can actually become areas where weeds grow. Keep a sharp mower blade and maintain a level mower deck. You may also need to check that your tires are properly inflated as that can also cause trouble. At Rock Water Farm, one of our lawn care secrets is that we change to sharper blades every single week for the best possible cut.
2. Fertilization and Lawn Care Treatments
Fertilizing your lawn and treating for common issues like crabgrass, weeds, and insects is definitely key to great lawn care. When it comes to treatments, avoid scrimping or skipping as it only opens you up to bigger problems down the line. At Rock Water Farm, our typical lawn care treatment program includes 8 visits per year in order to apply the products that your lawn needs to thrive. Of those applications, 5 visits include fertilization, which provides your lawn with the essential nutrients needed to thrive. Our grub control, summer weed control, and lime applications do not contain fertilizer additives but are also important to the overall health of your lawn.
3. Repair Construction Damage
One of the catch-22’s about beautifying your property with an outdoor living project is that the construction equipment needed for such a project (like a pool or a patio) can wreak havoc on your lawn.
If you’ve had heavy equipment repeatedly sitting or driving on your lawn, it will compact soil and cause problems. But a number of professional lawn care services (including aeration) can help restore that damage.
4. Lawn Aeration
If you want your lawn to breathe - and therefore thrive- then you need to aerate. The process of aeration involves pulling small cores (approximately ½” in diameter, 2”-3” in depth ) throughout your lawn which reduce soil compaction and allow more fertilizer, oxygen, and water to penetrate down to the root system in your lawn.
Aeration also helps break up thatch, which is the naturally-occurring dead organic material that builds up on top of soil.
5. Lawn Seeding
Seeding helps repair thin and bare spots. Adding in new grass cultivars also improves resistance to disease and some insects. We recommend spring seeding for heavily shaded lawns in addition to fall seeding for the majority of lawns.
We use a blend of weed-free certified grass seed on all lawns. This premium-grade grass seed is tested and refined to offer improved performance to better tolerate environmental stresses. It’s important to recognize that not all seed is the same. The seed you can pick up from your local box store is not the same that we use at Rock Water Farm.
Topdressing is a lawn care secret that many haven’t heard of, but it has long been a standard practice in the golf course industry. These days many more homeowners are using a topdressing service to achieve the lush green lawn they desire. Topdressing is a great way to build a healthy balance in your soil by increasing healthy soil microorganisms, all while improving soil structure.
7. Lawn Bio-Nutrition
The application of bio-nutritional products, which we do at least once a year depending on the growing and weather conditions, is another way to achieve a lush green lawn. Bio-Nutrition helps enhance your lawn’s growth and endure environmental stressors by delivering what it naturally needs (but is struggling to produce because of stressors).
8. Fall Clean-Up
Mowing the lawn late in the fall will help ensure it isn’t too long over winter and therefore prone to snow mold. We also offer several rounds of fall leaf removal so that fallen leaves can’t cause dead spots or interfere with your aeration and seeding. It only takes a couple of days of wet leaves sitting on new grass seedlings to destroy them.
9. Pay Attention to Your Trees
Wondering what your trees have to do with lawn care? Well, excessively thick canopies won’t allow light to reach your lawn and may prevent it from thriving. Thin out and raise up deciduous trees in order to let the light shine through. Another helpful tip is expanding your mulch beds around your trees - including your evergreens. This helps ensure that you aren’t mowing under low branches.
10. Soil Testing & Amendments
If you’re really looking for that “golf course green” type of lawn, you may also want to have your soil analyzed in order to determine whether any nutrients need to be added in the form of soil amendments such as limestone, phosphorus or potassium. While this isn’t a service that everyone requires, homeowners looking for improvements might consider it as their lawn care secret, particularly for troublesome lawns.
11. Water When Needed
Without proper watering in this area your lawn can quickly lose its ground. Dead grass opens up the lawn for weed infiltration and it’s only downhill from there. In order for lawns to stay healthy, they require one to two inches of water each week, depending on temperatures. It’s critical that you regularly water your lawn or consider an irrigation system if you can’t keep up with the manual labor of doing so.
12. Have an Expert Lawn Care Resource
When questions or problems arise, having a pro working on your lawn provides you the opportunity to talk it through with an expert. Lawn care for your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home often ends up being more work than most realize - particularly when you want to perform every possible service that will help improve your lawn’s appearance. But having an expert involved will ensure all those tasks get handled properly.
How Rock Water Farm Can Help
While there’s nothing to say you can’t perform these tasks on your own, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at everything that goes into making your lawn lush and green, you might want to consider calling a professional.
A lawn care service in Northern Virginia can free up your time on the weekends to do things that you’d rather be doing. Plus, an expert that specializes in lawn care is going to know what your lawn needs and when it truly needs it. A professional will also have access to specialized equipment and materials that the average homeowner can’t get their hands on.
We know that you have a lot of choices when it comes to hiring the best lawn care service in Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA, but as a company that is truly committed to its clients -and their lawns- we hope that you’ll consider us. We would love to perform these lawn care tasks for you and in turn help you have the best lawn on the block.
If you’re ready to have the best home on the block, give us a call at 703-327-1636, or schedule a free consultation to further discuss how we can help you with the lawn care secrets that will transform your property.