For those of us who used the old reel push mowers as kids, we got excited when our parents finally bought a gas-powered mower. But, even with new lawn care devices and chemical treatments, nothing beats these homegrown tips and techniques our grandparents once taught us. Oddly enough, they still work today to help your grass grow lush and green every summer.
1. It’s Time For Composting
Besides regular watering, lawns need food as well. But before you reach for those synthetic fertilizers that attract pests, consider laying down a layer of compost. It is an all-natural solution that adds organic matter back into the ground resulting in a healthier lawn.
2. Epsom Salt Pest Blocker
If you tested your soil and it’s acidic, then here's where Epsom salt will help. Even though Epsom is not salt per se, its sulfate and magnesium compound is a natural blocker for pests. For a healthier lawn, dilute in water to apply in a garden sprayer or use a lawn spreader.
3. Boiling Water For Weeds
Severe weed infestations is a clear indicator you have poor soil, and it’s time for some good old fashion weed control. Hand pulling with a hand-weeder tool works for young seedlings, but what about a tap root that gets embedded? Pour boiling water onto these weeds. That will quickly, and irreparably, damage the leaves for good, and die off.
4. Mulching Leaves For Greener Grass
Don’t wait for Autumn to pull out those large trash bags after raking. Mulch the leaves into your lawn now. Mow several times over them until the leaf pieces are smaller than a dime. They’ll decompose on their own, and enhance the soil beneath your grass with crucial nutrients.
5. Rake Your Grass Thatch Free
When you do not rake your grass, you will experience thatch build-up in your lawn. That build-up will slow down the growth of your grass by smothering the root system, cutting off much-needed air, water, and nutrients. Thatch build-up also provides a habitat for unwanted pests like Tropical Sod Webworms found here in Florida. To reduce your thatch build-up, use a leaf rake or thatch rake after mowing.
6. Just a Little Off The Top
Cutting your lawn too short, to avoid having to mow often can and will destroy a lush and green yard. When the blades of grass get cut too short the sun's rays will bake them, leaving the turf fried and lifeless, not to mention cutting too much off the top can shock the sod. By setting your mower blade at the highest height, you will never mow your lawn too short again.
7. Avoid Thirst Quenching Your Lawn
This advice goes against our instincts. We assume that a green lawn needs a lot of water. The opposite is true. Watering your grass lightly, but often, will weaken it by promoting a shallow root system, making it entirely dependent on you. Irrigating infrequently, but deeply (an inch per week) for a lawn produces deep roots and green blades of grass.
8. Aerate The Lawn
Due to heavy foot traffic on your lawn, it will develop soil compaction. That denseness causes your turf to struggle for air, nutrients, and moisture it needs to reach the grass’s roots. To ease soil compaction, you’ll want to use an aerating machine. Plugs of soil get pulled to the surface allowing water, air, and needed nutrients for your lawn’s root system.
9. Milky Spore The Grubs
In most lawns, Grubs, the larvae of various beetles, are found, and when not managed, they take over, and your lawn’s roots get damaged. To begin reducing the infestation, start to apply a milky spore, a bacterial condition known as “milky disease.” Your lawn remains unharmed, but the solution is deadly to grubs. Bear in mind though this treatment is long term with no instant results. Over time your grub population will shrink and dwindle.
10. Trap and Control Moles
Moles will cause a catastrophe in your yard if left to burrow through it looking for grubs. When you see puffed up mounds and hills in your lawn, that means you have moles and a big problem. The most practical way to get rid of Moles is to trap them. Just remember, if your yard has grubs you will get moles. By controlling the grubs, your yard won’t attract the burrowing intruder.
If you found these 10 Old-School remedies helpful, then check out our other article “Irrigation Lawn Care for a Healthy Tallahassee Yard. (Questions & Answers).”