The thumb rule for a lustrous green, healthy turf lawn is to maintain proper soil moisture. Depending upon the soil type, climatic condition and grass variety, watering should be done carefully. The other basic lawn care tips for maintaining turfgrasses are mowing, aerification, fertilization, dethatching and diagnosing turfgrass problems.
Watering should be done early in the morning. The amount of watering should be such that it wets the root zone. Too less irrigation may lead to drying and yellowing of the grasses, whereas a waterlogged condition causes rotting of the roots that ultimately causes a death of turfgrasses. An abnormal soil moisture is clearly evident from the color of the turfgrasses and onset of diseases.
Mowing should be started after establishment of the turves in the soil. In simple terms, a newly laid turf lawn should not be mowed for the first few weeks. As the turves begin to grow, you can mow by setting the lawn mower at a high level. The mowing height (average 3 inch) and frequency may vary based on the turfgrass variety. Proper mowing with sharp blades enhances the appearance of the turf lawn.
Aerification refers to loosening of soil compactness with the help of aerifiers. It increases the air circulation, rooting, water absorption and at the same time, reduces thatch accumulation. Aerification is mostly recommended for the compacted soil during spring and fall season.
Light fertilization with about 2-4 pounds nitrogen fertilizer per 1000 square feet per year is sufficient for the cool climatic conditions. Heavy dose of fertilizers, about 4-5 pounds, is used in turf lawns that have high traffic, for example play areas. Appropriate fertilization time is summer, when the grasses assimilate the maximum nutrients.
Dethatching refers to removal of the organic layer accumulated just above the soil. Thatch includes living and dead shoots, leaves and roots. It is accumulated due to over fertilization and/or over irrigation of the turf lawn. Occasional dethatching with the help of dethatching machines is recommended to maintain a healthy lawn.
Speaking about the turf problems, the susceptibility of different grasses towards diseases and pest is different. The best method is to determine the common pest and diseases in your area and select tolerant grass varieties. You can control weeds effectively by mowing the turfgrasses properly. If necessary, you can use appropriate chemical pesticides and herbicides after consulting a landscape professional.
If you are passionate about landscaping, you can pursue a career in turf management. Nowadays, there are certain agricultural institutes that offer the courses in turf management. As the landscaping career is booming, similar is that of turf management. You will be responsible for caring of the turf lawn according to various seasons.