Despite the fact that Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, most of us understand the importance of having a beautiful green space. A lush front lawn or backyard oasis can do wonders for your quality of life — and your property values. In fact, investing the effort into landscape maintenance and lawn care produce some of the most substantial payouts at resale, according to a 2018 report published by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Landscape Professionals. If you own a home, manage a rental property, or are thinking of selling house down the line, you’ll want to do everything you can to improve your curb appeal. And a great place to start is by addressing the quality of your grass. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Get rid of brown patches: Brown patches can frequently show up on lawns located in areas with high humidity and temperatures. These spots are actually caused by a type of fungus that leaves behind dead grass. According to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Science, you may be able to reduce brown patch by removing the morning dew that naturally gathers on grass blades by mowing or dragging a water hose across the areas affected. You should also remove lawn clippings to prohibit the spread of the fungus. You may want to look more closely at the soil’s pH levels and contact a professional lawn care service to ensure the appearance of brown patch won’t continue to plague your property.
- Keep dogs out: If you allow pets on your rental property or know there are dogs in the neighborhood, you’ll want to take steps to protect your lawn. Dogs can create a real mess on your lawn, as the high nitrogen concentrations in their urine can contribute to yellow spots or could put your soil’s pH levels out of whack. And of course, some dog breeds may be inclined to dig and burrow (as can certain wild pests). While having a green space for canine tenants to use is a nice gesture, you can appease residents and protect your grass by limiting where pets can and cannot go by putting up signs or fencing. Encourage residents to always have their dogs on leashes (even in fenced in areas), too.
- Mow and water the right way: Mowing and watering the lawn may seem simple enough, but you’d be surprised by the number of property owners and managers who do these tasks incorrectly. In dry, summer weather, you’ll want to stay off the lawn as much as you can. Because grass becomes more brittle without water, the blades can break more easily and result in damage. Make sure tenants know to stay off the grass when necessary. When you water your lawn in the summertime, it’s best to do so early in the morning; this gives less of a chance for water to evaporate but won’t increase the chances of disease. You’ll want to water deeply (around six to eight inches) and give your lawn time to dry between watering cycles. Don’t mow your lawn more frequently than once a week to once every few days, depending on how quickly it grows. Be sure to use a mower with a sharp blade that cuts grass evenly. You should also switch up your mowing pattern to ensure no ruts are inadvertently created. Never mow when the soil is wet from watering, dew, or rain.
- Fertilize and/or aerate: Ultimately, your lawn may need more help than regular mowings and waterings can provide. You should start by performing a soil test to see which nutrients you lawn needs. This will determine what kind of fertilizer should be used and when. Aeration can help too, as compacted soil will keep water and air from reaching the roots of your grass and result in an unhealthy lawn. You may need to consult with a lawn care expert to assess when these duties should be performed where you’re located.
If you want to get your grass in great shape this summer, be sure to keep these tips in mind. Investing the time, effort, and financial resources required for a healthy, lush lawn will pay off by attracting new tenants or buyers to your property.