Let’s face it – maintaining a lush, full lawn in the mid-Atlantic can be tough! We deal with drought, high temps and humidity, and harsh winters. It might seem that growing a beautiful lawn is just too hard. Here are some things to keep in mind in your quest for the perfect patch of green.
- Lawns need sun. Grass does best when you start with ideal grass-growing conditions. Turf (typically) needs 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. A lush, green lawn under the oaks (or maples, or sweet gums, take your pick) is really not very practical.
- Lawns need water. While we do get rain frequently in the spring, by the time we get to the end of June, we run out of predictable rain fall. Remember that grass has a shallow root system (2-4″ deep) and cannot pull water from farther down in the soil. This means that when we go more that a few days without significant rain (1/2″ or more), you will need to turn on the sprinklers.
- Lawns need air. This means that you need to keep the leaves raked up and the thatch to a healthy amount. If the airflow is impeded, growth will be hampered. If your soil is compacted, appropriate airflow does not reach the roots. This is where an aeration service would be beneficial.
- Lawns need to be cut. Most varieties of turf in our area are healthiest when maintained at 3 – 3 1/2″ tall. Cutting it shorter stresses the plants, creating a higher water need. Letting it get to long also creates plant stress (and human stress!) when you are struggling to cut down the meadow.
- Lawns need TLC. Along with all of the needs we have already mentioned, you will need to monitor the health of your grass. You may need to do things like adjust the pH (to aid in nutrient up-take), add nutrients (in the form of fertilizers), and manage pests (both weeds and insects).
If this is more than you want to take on – there are well-known and trusted lawn care companies in Annapolis that can take on the hardest jobs for you.