Using real grass is one of the easiest ways to make your landscape project result in a natural and inviting look. A green lawn is a standard in most landscapes, and lawn maintenance should be among your primary concerns.
The first step in laying your new lawn is deciding on a method. You have two options: sod or grass seed. The advantages of lawn seeds is a cheaper, more customizable lawn that fits directly into your landscape plan.
Finding the right grass or mix of grasses for your location's temperature extremes is easy when you choose to seed; there are literally dozens of grass varieties available. For example, Bermuda grass does well in the heat of the southern United States, but bluegrass can survive the biting cold of Midwestern winters.
Planting grass seed does involve several hours of work, but the preparation process is fairly simple: clear out the old grass, till the soil, fertilize and condition the soil, then level the soil. Once you've planted the seeds, cover them with a thin layer of soil and keep moisture evenly distributed.
Regular lawn fertilizing is a benefit to most grasses; expect to fertilize your lawn up to four times a year. However, over-fertilization can lead to excess growth and an increase in fungi, which weaken your grass in the long run. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer you choose.
Check your lawn mowers to see if they have adjustable heights. Many people cut their grass so short that the lawn becomes thin and dies out. Short grass also requires more water, meaning you could save on irrigation and watering costs by leaving it a little taller. This may mean you'll have to mow your grass more regularly, but the uniform look and healthy color of it will make up for the inconvenience.
Lawns are naturally eco-friendly – they reduce energy consumption, transform carbon dioxide into oxygen and naturally reduce soil erosion. But if you're interested in truly organic gardening and lawn care, there are a couple easy steps you can take. Test the pH of your soil before you plant your lawn. Adding lime if it is below 6.0 or gardener's sulfur if it is above 7.0 makes it more likely that grass (and not dandelions or weeds) will grow.
Eco-friendly lawn care includes using organic lawn fertilizer. Organic fertilizers promote the continued health of the grass, as well as the organisms (including garden-friendly earthworms) that live inside it.