Tips Misc-Lawn Care

If you own or rent a home in SOMA, then you most likely have at least a patch of grass to care for if not most of your outdoor space being grass. No matter the size of your lawn, they might look easy to grow and maintain, but you probably already know it isn’t always as easy as it looks.

This section covers lawn care and lawn alternatives for those willing to take the leap away from grass.

Lawns – Rutgers EDU

New Jersey’s Rutgers University has an excellent undergraduate and post graduate Agricultural & Food Systems Program.  From this program is an excellent cooperative extension program that is available to everyone – and you don’t have to be a student to use it!

In researching lawn care it became very obvious that MGC could never do as thorough a job as Rutgers already has made available to everyone, so instead our Lawn Care section will help you navigate to the numerous articles and publications from Rutgers and highlight key points from their material.

If you want skip our material here and jump right to Rutgers we won’t be hurt.  Click the Rutgers Lawn and Landscape link to jump right in.

Starting a New Lawn and Reviving an Existing Lawn

Following are links to the Rutgers site to cover starting a new lawn.

Lawn Care, Testing and Fertilizing 
Lawn Watering

An inch of water a week under normal conditions is all that is needed.  Best this is done in only 1 or 2 deep applications than spreading it out over several days of light applications.

Weed Control

To achieve an absolutely weed free lawn can take solutions that your lawn eventually becomes addicted to, are unnatural and are not best for the micro environment or the larger one for that matter.  A better course of action is to accept that there will be some weeds and instead aim to keep them in check rather than eliminate them entirely.

Another secret to to reduced weeds is a longer lawn. Keeping your lawn in the 2.5-3.5 inch height more shade at the soil level of the lawn and makes your turf healthier, together reducing opportunities for weeds.

The following links are great articles for handling the most common lawn weeds in the SOMA area.

Japanese Stiltgrass

Alternatives to Lawns

It is probably very hard to comprehend your yard without green grass and maybe you can’t just let it go completely.  After all it is hard to kick the soccer ball around on a bed of Wild Ginger and Asters.  Playing Bocci in lawn of Goldenrod, or Sedge wouldn’t be too much fun either.  However, maybe you’re ready to reduce the size of your lawn in favor of garden beds of native plants.  Your water bill will go down, and you’ll be supporting the birds and bees.

Grass Alternative Ideas

If done correctly, garden beds don’t have to be a weeding nightmare.  The trick is mixing your plantings, utilizing ground covers, shrubs and trees.  More importantly PLANT NATIVE.  Native plants will spread, require less water and maintenance, and once established will help keep the weeds at bay.

Here are some helpful sites and articles on Lawn Alternatives: