Lawn Plays Second Fiddle To Flower Gardens

By Susan Albert | June 2, 2022
Image by Singjai20
by Susan Albert
June 2, 2022

Having a well-manicured, green lawn is a nice luxury if you want to spend the time grooming it with fertilizer, ample water, and correct mowing. I’m in the mid-tier of grass growers who keep it mowed, add weed and feed occasionally, and let mother nature do the watering.

Lawn Care

My husband oversees the lawn, and I am in charge of the flower beds. His philosophy is, “If it’s green, I mow it.” He is referring to weeds, grass, and anything else that might be green in the lawn. He does change up the direction of his mowing, which is beneficial to the lawn. However, he really cuts it shorter than the lawn gurus recommend. His rationalization is the shorter it is cut, the less he must mow. Which is true, but it’s best not to cut off more than 1/3 of the grass height at one time. In spring, it’s best to mow at 3 inches for tall fescue and bluegrass. I’m sure he mowed shorter than that for his spring sessions. 

Many people fertilize with nitrogen several times a season, but that is not necessary if you don’t water regularly and let the grass go dormant in the heat of summer. We prefer the second option. My husband doesn’t add anything to the lawn, so rather than have the lawn look like a vacant lot, I will get out the weed killer occasionally. I don’t mind a few weeds in the front lawn, especially if they stay low. But those dandelion seed heads are an eyesore. I let the weeds go in the backyard for the pollinators, but I try to have some reverence for the neighborhood in the front yard. 

Of course, the gurus say the best defense against lawn weeds is a thick lawn. To achieve this, the proper mowing height and fertilizer in the fall will help. When the grass is scalped, it allows more light onto the soil causing the weed seeds to develop. We had some bare patches in the backyard, and I seeded those areas last fall. They are growing nicely this spring. 

Trying to keep up with the lawn can be a chore, but it does improve the appearance of your own yard as well as the neighborhood. 

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