~What is the secret to a perfect garden? The answers conjuring in our minds are likely as diverse and imaginative as the gardeners and their gardens themselves. The garden’s beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
Is it the majestic trees which provide welcome shade and a haven for local birdlife? Is it the plants and flowers that one tends to all year round, which creates the colorful display when Spring rolls around? Is it the vegetables that ensure that your garden just keeps on giving as long as you take care of it (my very preference)? Is it the elegant stonework or the ornate water feature? Or are these just bells, whistles and embellishments? Perhaps the key to a perfect garden lies not in the visual confections of the flowers but in the fundamentals like perfectly manicured topiary and a lushly verdant but equally pristine lawn?
There’s no right or wrong answer to the above question, but it goes without saying that a beautiful lawn is one of the most fundamentally important features of a good garden. A great lawn can elevate a garden that lacks pop, while a poorly maintained, patchy or overgrown lawn can cheapen even the most carefully landscaped masterpieces. While we all strive for that elusive perfection of a lawn, there are a few common reasons why our lawns don’t shine the way they should…
You do not have the time or energy to maintain it
Maintaining your lawn requires diligence and more than a little elbow grease at times. While you can certainly overdo it (more on that shortly), it’s vital that you’re prepared to put the time and effort into mowing, weeding, seeding, watering and aerating your lawn for it to really pop and thrive in these sunny months. If your work or personal commitments prohibit you from doing this, a regular visit from a lawn care specialist may be just the ticket. As keen a gardener as you may be, there’s no shame in recruiting an expert hand when you need one for the good of your garden. For years I tried and tried to perfect my vegetable patch, but one day I decided to get more knowledge from specialists experts and master gardeners. Needless to say, it helped me so much with all gardening mistakes that were occurring year after year.
Your soil is too compacted
Is your lawn excessively patchy? Does grass struggle to grow in some areas? Are you seeing more coverage from moss than grass in others? Moss gardening can be quite beautiful but not when it’s taking up space that would be better occupied by grass. Moss growth on your lawn may be a sign of compacted soil. Contrary to popular belief, the moss is not strangling or killing the grass like a weed, it is a symptom of the problem and not the problem itself when you expecting luscious grass instead. Compacted soil takes place when air water and nutrients are prevented from getting through the soil to the roots. Again, a lawn care specialist may be able to help you with aeration or if you have a practiced hand you can do it yourself.
You are over mowing
In our zeal to keep our lawns well maintained in the sunnier months some people get a little overzealous with their mowers. It’s important to remember that plants have feelings too! When you over mow your lawn (this is also known as scalping) this can be a traumatic experience for the plant and may inhibit its ability to photosynthesize. Thus, you may end up with dry and patchy grass in some places. Set your mower to around 2.5 inches and never remove more than a third of the blade when mowing.
Hope this helps you all on the way to gorgeous, summer-ready lawns!
Have a wonderful and green day, my friends!
Photographs listed here do not belong to Luda @PlantsandBeyond.com