Master the perfect lawn

In this article with Home Remodeling Magazine, Natascha Batchelor, district manager of Davey's Cape Cod office, tells homeowners how to maintain a healthy lawn. 

Posted: August 16, 2016 

By Rebecca Mayer Knutsen

An enviable blanket of lush green grass tops the list of must-haves for many homeowners. According to Spencer Howard, operations manager at BJ’s Lawncare & Landscaping on Cape Cod, owners typically want their lawns to emulate a golf course, but that’s simply not realistic. “The composition of turf on a golf course is made up a variety of grass that is specifically suited for that environment,” he explains.

There are tricks of the landscaping trade, however, that will help keep your lawn looking healthy and green, even if you don’t live on a golf course. The ideal turf for Massachusetts’ southern coastal area is 80% tall fescue with a mix of Kentucky blue and perennial rye rounding out the remaining 20%, explains Natascha Batchelor, district manager of The Davey Tree Expert Company’s Cape Cod region. Homeowners should strive for a blend of grass types rather than a monoculture, which leaves the lawn vulnerable to being wiped out by damage.

What is the first step in facilitating a healthy lawn? Take a soil and turf sample to a commercial lawn company or Cape Cod Cooperative Extension to determine the soil’s texture and nutrient composition and identify the type of turf for a small fee.

In order to thrive, lawns need three major nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – as well as macro nutrients, including calcium, magnesium and copper, to name a few. “It’s important to have enough organic matter for the lawn to grow well,” says Howard. “Grass can be grown in pure sand but it would need around-the-clock maintenance or else it would shrivel up and die.”

There’s no simple answer to getting a great lawn because it depends on many factors, and all lawns have different requirements. “But the major considerations for any homeowner are proper irrigation, nutrient management and mowing techniques,” says Batchelor.

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