Installing a new lawn requires a significant investment in either grass seed or sod, as well as in a grass-specific fertilizer that promotes healthy growth. If you're undertaking a new lawn installation project, grass and fertilizer aren't the only things you'll need to invest in. Here are some other investments you'll need to make to ensure that your new lawn is both healthy and looks nice.
Get a Soil Test
You'll be able to learn a lot about the types of soil in your area by talking to landscaping professionals and neighbors. The only way to truly know what your lawn's soil is like, however, is by testing it. Only a soil test can tell you the exact pH, for example, of your yard.
Knowing your lawn's average pH will both help you choose the best type of grass for your yard and let you make any adjustments that are necessary. As Seedland's chart shows, each species of grass has a specific pH range that it tolerates. A few common grasses listed on the chart include the following:
- Bentgrass, which prefers a pH between 5.6 and 7.0
- Bluegrass, which needs a pH between 5.7 and 7.4
- Centipede grass, which prefers a pH between 4.3 and 5.8
- St. Augustine grass, which wants a pH between 6.3 and 7.8
If you have your mind set on a specific type of grass or grasses, but your yard's pH isn't right for the grass, you can adjust your soil's pH. Lime is used to raise pH, and sulfur is used to lower pH.
Grade Your Lawn
Grading a yard involves moving around the top layer of dirt, which destroys any grass that's growing in the lawn. Therefore, if you want your lawn graded, you should hire a landscaper to grade it before planting any new grass in it.
There are a couple reasons why you might have a lawn graded. You may want its slope adjusted for aesthetic purposes or to channel water away from the foundation of your home.
Invest in a Programmable Sprinkler System
Your new lawn will need plenty of water. According to GreenGrass, all yards should get at least 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week, spread out over a few waterings in the week, and they should ideally be watered as early in the day as possible. Scotts says new lawns need even more frequent waterings -- grass should be watered at least twice daily until it's established and been mowed once or twice.
The easiest way to get your new lawn the water it needs is to install a programmable sprinkler system. While you could water your yard by hand with a hose, doing so would be time-consuming. A programmable sprinkler system can be set to give your yard the water it needs as early in the day as you want.
Have Your Lawn Mower Sharpened
Lawn mower blades, like knives, can become dull over time. A dull lawn mower blade won't cleanly cut your new grass. Instead, it will be prone to pulling and tugging the grass, which can lead to bruising that damages the grass.
To ensure an old lawn mower blade doesn't harm the new grass you put in, have your lawn mower sharpened before you cut the new grass for the first time. How much it costs to have a lawn mower's blades sharpened depends on the type of blade and varies from dealer to dealer. In many cases, though, lawn mower servicepeople will charge as little as $7 or $8 to sharpen cutting blades. Mulching and reel-type blades tend to cost a little bit more.
Contact a company like Sergio's Lawn Service for more information.