If you are trying to grow grass and live in an urban environment, you might have faced some difficulties, and if so, there’s important information you’ll want to know about. Most city-dwellers don’t worry much about landscaping.
That’s because few people who choose to live in dense, urban environments have enough yard space — and enough authority to change their yard space — to have much concern over how their yard looks or functions.
You’ll also want to learn about the many innovative and healthy ways to deal with weeds too.
Yet, for those few who do want their city yard to look healthy and verdant, a lawn is a must. The problem is that growing grass in city soil isn’t necessarily easy, and maintaining a small plot can be a serious chore.
Though a lovely lawn is certainly attractive and will increase a building’s value, property owners need to be careful about how they install their grass to ensure it looks and lives well.
Choose the Right Grass Variety
The first big lawn lesson city-slickers need to learn is this: Not all grass is the same. There are hundreds of varieties of grass for different climates, soil types, pest control issues and more. Some different types of grass boast different looks, with different blade widths, lengths, and colors.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make one grass variety recommendation for all urban environments; there is too much variation in growing conditions around the world, even within cities. Thus, homeowners might look for the best match in this list:
- Tall Fescue. Perhaps the most variable of all lawn types, tall fescue can come in high shade-tolerant varieties (like Rembrandt) as well as drought- and heat-resistant varieties (like Crossfire III). It is possible to obtain a fescue mix, with several varieties growing in the same patch. Fescue grows best in colder climates, like the Northeast.
- Zoysia grass. Incredibly resistant to pests, disease, and dryness, Zoysia is not particularly tolerant of cold. It is possible to find winter-hardy varieties, like Meyer, Zenith, and Compadre, but Zoysia is still best planted in the warm South. This grass does grow relatively slowly, but that’s why it remains so strong against threats.
- Augustine grass. One of the only grasses that enjoy sandy soil, St. Augustine needs a bright sun to thrive. With larger, longer blades, this grass is susceptible to insects and foot traffic, so it shouldn’t be planted in an area that will often be trampled. Typically, St. Augustine is seen in the deep South, like around the Gulf.
- Bermuda grass. Called a warm-season grass, Bermuda also prefers bright, full sun for much of the year and can easily withstand drought. However, Bermuda grass is extremely aggressive in its spread, which means homeowners will likely need a Philly lawn mowing service (or a lawn care provider in their city) to keep the grass under control.
- Buffalo grass. The only variation on this list that is native to the American continent, buffalo grass needs almost no water or fertilizer. However, it also doesn’t grow very dense, which means it isn’t traditionally attractive enough for most homeowners.
Invest in Quality Soil
Typically, the soil in cities is poor. This is usually for one of two reasons: Either nothing has grown in the dirt for decades, meaning it is filled with toxins, or it has grown the same plants for eons, and the soil is utterly lacking in a few critical types of nutrients. To grow quickly and thickly, grass needs a handful of macronutrients:
Then, it also needs a good grip of micronutrients, such as boron, zinc, molybdenum, and manganese. It’s not wise to simply spray existing dirt with raw elements; instead, homeowners need to put these nutrients into the ground in a way future grass will be able to use them.
A good start is working organic matter, like aged manure or compost, into the soil to attract the microorganisms that produce nitrogen, phosphorus, and other compounds as waste products.
Homeowners should also work to turn their soil somewhat regularly before they deposit any seed or sod, to push air into the dirt. Finally, healthy soil is about 25 percent water, so homeowners should try to moisten their soil on a regular basis — ideally in the same patterns, they will eventually water their lawn.
It’s easy to add nutrients to the soil, but it is almost impossible to change the soil’s texture and type. Thus, homeowners might want to send a sample of their soil to a laboratory to better understand its structure. Then, they can make a more informed decision with regards to grass variety and ensure the lawn grows healthily for a lifetime.
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