The Best Lawns Start with Grass Roots Improvements
I have a little homework assignment for homeowners out there who care about the health of their lawn...check your roots. You see, a deep well established root system is what separates the best lawns from the rest. It goes without saying that good roots are the number one defense any plant has against stress (drought, heat, etc.) but it is more difficult and time consuming to stimulate root growth then it is leaf growth. That is why most lawn care 'pretenders' fall short in this area. So, unless you're an 'ignorance is bliss' sort...let's get busy.
Pick The Right Day
Unlike poorly dyed hair, the roots of your grass are not that obvious so you'll have to get your hands dirty. Step one is to pick a good day to do this. You don't want the ground to be frozen , sopping wet. or so dry that it's hard as concrete.
The "Hard" Part
Go out on the lawn and grab a tuft of grass between your thumb and forefinger. Give it a tug hard enough to break it free from the ground. If the blades of grass shear off, leaving the roots behind in the soil where they belong, you're in pretty good shape. The root system of your lawn in this area is fairly well established. If, however, roots and all pop out of the ground like the tooth of a scurvy pirate ...you've got problems.
After tamping that plug you just pulled out back into place (if the root system is that bad you want to save every blade of grass you can), select several other spots throughout the lawn and repeat.
What's the verdict? Can you sleep well with the newfound confidence only a nicely rooted lawn brings? Or do you have the added worry of how to improve the weak root system you've found in all or part of your precious lawn?
Stonger Lawns = Fewer Chemicals
If the answer is the latter, don't crawl into the corner with all the lights turned off just yet. All is not lost. While there is no quick fix, there are a number of things you can do to jump start the root growth in your lawn, starting with:
- Testing and correcting soil
- Core aerating the lawn at appropriate levels
- Performing deep and infrequent watering
The key to success is first developing a plan. Any corrective measures need to be done at the right time and in the right order. If you are not 100% sure what to do and when to do it, ask for help. It will pay off in not only a nicer lawn but one that requires fewer chemicals and less effort to keep it looking good throughout the summer.