Why does my neighbor’s lawn always look better than mine?

When it comes to lawns and yard care there is a lot to keep in mind. Does your lawn need more than water, fertilizer and regular mowing, that all depends on what you want it to look like?

If you have ever looked at a professional baseball field, PGA golf course, or Wimbledon tennis court and wondered how they get grass like that — then we have a little secret for you.  It takes a lot of work!

We’d like to share with you a few tips that you could use to improve your lawn health:

1- Proper nutrition.  One, or even a few fertilizer applications, may not be sufficient for your lawn.  Would you like to eat bananas for every meal every day?  Neither would your lawn.  Lawns need different nutrients at different times of the year.  Don’t think that spreading two or three times the recommended amount in the spring will just cover you for the whole year.  

lawn2- Proper watering.  First off water is expensive.  Not only can over watering hurt your lawn but it will also hurt your wallet.  Improper watering will often encourage disease, weed growth and soil nutrient loss.  Watering can be complicated and just because your neighbor waters three times a week for 12 minutes doesn’t mean you can because you might have a totally different output from your sprinklers, soil type/slope or other outlying factors.  Rather than spend a lot of time yourself playing the trial and error game, call the local USU extension at (435)586-8132, ask for Candace, and schedule a free water check.  

lawn3- Proper mowing.  You are going to need to mow your lawn every 5-7 days.  If you let it get longer it may require less water but it is unhealthy to mow more than 1/3 of a blade of grass at a time.  This practice also holds in moisture which will contribute to problems such as disease/fungus growth and weed invasion.  With proper mowing you can mulch your lawn and save the hassle of bagging and your lawn will require 30% less fertilizer.  Mulching requires a mower that mulches.  Just mowing without bagging is not mulching and is bad for the lawn. Also be sure to mow your lawn in different patterns so that grass doesn’t begin to lay over in certain directions.  Back and forth passes are generally the most visually pleasing.  

4- Proper spring care.  In the spring you should aerate your lawn.  Look to get at least 9 “plugs” per square foot.  A power raking will help remove all of last year’s thatch (dead organic material that creates a barrier over the soil which prohibits water and nutrient update.  You will hear many people who are opposed to power raking, but if you look at the best looking lawns in Cedar they are all power raked annually.  A good spring fertilizer containing nitrogen and iron, such as Step 1 from IFA, will help your lawn to green up and start the season right. 

5- Proper fall care.  Another aeration in the late summer/early fall will help open up the soil to nutrients and allow roots to spread before going dormant for this winter.  This will give them a head start come spring.  Apply a fall fertilizer and be sure to clean off any leaves/debris and mow the grass a half inch shorter than usual to help prevent fungus and snow rot during the winter.

Lawn care can be complicated but with some knowledge and TLC you can have the envy of the neighborhood.    

By: Brent Williams, Everything Exterior LLC

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Categorized as Articles

By ICHBA

The Home Builders Association of Utah is the advocate for the housing industry to the Utah State Legislature and the other state regulatory agencies including the Division of Professional and Occupational Licensing and Utah State Codes Commission.