Lawn care includes mowing, watering and fertilization as well as disease and insect control. It is an important part of home landscaping that provides a cooling effect for the house, captures dust and dirt and releases a large amount of oxygen into the atmosphere. It also provides a great place to play croquet, frisbee and other lawn games. In addition, it adds to the beauty of your home and improves its curb appeal. However, many lawns require an enormous amount of work and expense to keep them healthy.
While there is a common positive view of lawns, research shows that intensively managed turf areas can have significant negative environmental impacts and may be a contributing factor to the homogenization of urban landscapes and reduction of local biodiversity. This is because standard lawns are mostly composed of sterile, non-flowering grasses that are unattractive to native bees and other beneficial insects. In contrast, a natural or less-manicured garden can attract a greater diversity of wildlife and provide a more natural environment for human activity.
The use of a variety of turf grasses with good soil management can minimize the resource demands of maintaining a lawn. This can include a lower mowing frequency, improved pest resistance, or better traffic tolerance. This approach can be applied to both home and public spaces to reduce the resource inputs and emissions associated with lawn maintenance, and to promote a healthier and more sustainable landscape.
In many cases, lawns in Maine need little or no mowing during the summer. This is a good thing for the lawn, as it gives the plant a chance to rest and regenerate during periods of drought. However, it is also important to understand that a lawn will not survive for extended periods of time without water. During drought, the water requirement of a lawn may be three times higher than during normal periods of moisture. Therefore, it is important to have a system that allows you to monitor and adjust irrigation cycles according to the actual water needs of your lawn.
Most lawns in Maine need to be fertilized twice per year. The choice of fertilizer is important, as is ensuring that the product contains only organic materials and slow-release nitrogen. It is also recommended to avoid products with phosphorus, since it can lead to an excessive buildup of thatch and promote an unhealthy soil environment.
Weeds can be a significant challenge in any lawn, and the best strategy is to prevent them before they become a problem. To do this, inspect your lawn regularly to make sure that you have good site preparation and seed selection practices, as well as proper mowing and watering. Also be sure to remove debris from the yard that can block sunlight and promote weed growth. Finally, a regular scouting routine can help you to identify the types and numbers of weeds present in your lawn and determine whether they need management.
White grubs have been a persistent nuisance in many Maine lawns in recent years. These ground-dwelling larvae of Japanese beetles, June beetles and Asiatic garden beetles feed on grass roots and can cause extensive damage. To scout for them, look for patches of dead grass in the spring or summer when their root-feeding is at its peak.