Your lawn is one of the most important parts of your Dallas home and garden. Whether you’re unwinding after a hard day in the office, entertaining friends, or spending valuable time with your loved ones, having a lush and green lawn can transform your backyard.
Did you know … homeowners are increasingly turning their back on the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to keep their lawns in good shape?
These products can be very harmful to the environment and also have many long-term effects on your garden.
So how do you look after your lawn if you are not going to be using these products? To help you, we have taken a closer look at organic lawn care in Dallas.
Five Steps For Organic Lawn Care
When it comes to organic lawn care and keeping your home and garden in the best possible shape, there are five steps you need to remember:
1) Prepare The Soil
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your soil is correctly prepared. This means cleaning the entire area to remove any debris or large rocks and stones, as well as tidying up your garden.
One of the key factors to organic lawn care is ensuring you have the best soil possible. So you should also make sure that you are adding fertilizer to ensure it grows as healthy as possible.
2) Check (and correct) pH
Once your soil is prepared, you should then undertake a test to ensure you know its pH level. The ideal pH level should be between 6.5 and 7, so if you find that yours is outside these ranges, then you will need to correct it. Speak with one of our gardening experts at Jacksons Home & Garden, and they will be able to help you with identifying if the soil is too alkaline or acidic and provide you with organic methods to fix it.
The next step is to overseed your lawn. To do this, first aerate your soil so that the seeds can make contact with the ground and begin germination. Once you have done this, spread your seeds evenly across your entire lawn, either by hand or using a rotary spreader. You should then rake the lawn lightly so that the seeds can settle.
4) Mow and Fertilize
Once your grass is growing, to keep it in the best condition, you should ensure that you are always mowing it correctly. Cutting it too short can place it under added stress by making it more prone to drought and disease. You also want to ensure that you are regularly fertilizing it to ensure the grass is getting the nutrients it needs.
While you want to ensure that your lawn is getting enough water, you should be cautious of over-watering. Healthy and organically managed lawns have a tendency to retain water more effectively and be more drought-tolerant, so make sure you are not watering too often.
What Should I Do When My Grass Turns Brown In The Summer?
We know that after all of that hard work, it can be very frustrating to see your grass starting to turn brown. However, in the summer months, as the temperatures begin to rise, seeing your grass begin to brown is completely natural, and it doesn’t mean that the grass is dying.
Certain types of grass react differently to heat, and turning brown is often an evolutionary factor to help it converse energy and water.
If you are finding that your grass is turning brown, then there are several things you can do. The first is to adjust your mowing height. Keeping your grass a little longer will ensure the roots remain deeper and can extract more nutrients from the soil.
You should also ensure that you are adding fertilizer across your entire lawn and spreading it evenly; however, do be aware of over-fertilizing as that can be just as harmful.
Temperature is often the leading cause, so do keep your grass watered. It is not always the cause, and your brown grass might be an indication that pH levels have changed, which can often occur if there has been a lack of rainfall recently.
That is why you should make sure you are regularly testing your soil. If you have pets or are noticing an increase in pests around your garden, then your brown grass could be caused by their urine. This urine contains harmful salts that can kill your grass and prevent it from growing back green.
Grass Alternatives To Try
If you are finding that your grass is not growing, no matter how hard you try, then it might be time to consider an alternative. There are many fantastic options out there, including:
Moss is one of the oldest plants in the world and can be a fantastic addition to any Dallas home and garden. It is an entirely self-sufficient solution that does not have any root structures, meaning it can simply rely on rainfall for the nutrients it needs. It also grows incredibly quickly and can be a great alternative to grass.
2) Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma Fluviatillis)
The blue star creeper is a very low-maintenance alternative to grass and is becoming increasingly popular for homeowners. This unique plant provides a dense mat of very leafy foliage, while in the summer months, it springs beautiful purple and blue star-shaped flowers. Blue star creeper requires far less water than grass and thanks to only growing up to three inches, does not require mowing.
3) Kidney Weed (Dichondra micrantha)
This incredibly dense plant helps to create a thick green covering over your garden. Originally a native plant of Japan and China, it is now a common sight in gardens across America and offers a very high tolerance level. It can also be grown in almost any soil and conditions, as long as it is watered regularly.
4) Bugleflower (Ajuga reptans)
Another popular grass alternative, bugleflower is able to form an attractive mat of dark green leaves across your garden. Capable of growing in almost all Dallas soil types, the plant also blooms beautiful blue flowers in the spring and summer months.
5) White Clover (Trifolium repens)
The white clover is one of North America’s most common plants, found in lawns, football fields, and parklands alike. Capable of growing in more alkaline soils than traditional grass, the plants also require less watering and management, making them a good alternative for those with very busy lifestyles.
6) Periwinkle (Vinca minor)
This popular evergreen plan is a great alternative to grass, quickly covering your garden with its dark green leaves. Great for gardens that do not get much sunlight, the plant typically flowers in the spring, producing striking purple and blue bell-shaped flowers.
7) Elfin Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
This creeping aromatic plant is able to cover large areas with its green leaves, while each summer, it blooms into truly beautiful pink and lavender flowers that are guaranteed to make your garden stand out from the crowd.
If you need help with your Dallas home and garden landscape, come by Jacksons Home & Garden to speak with one of our garden experts, who will be able to help you identify the best solutions for your home.