Timothy Grass Care: Information About Timothy Grass Growing
How do I know if my lawn is healthy?
The first thing you need to determine is what type of grass your lawn is. There are two types of grasses, annual and perennial. Annual grasses like Bermuda or Bermuda sunflower will last through the winter months but they require constant care during those cold winters. They are very susceptible to frost damage and die back quickly after it occurs. Perennial grasses such as dandelion, clover, and others will not survive long term without regular mowing and fertilizing. These grasses will thrive year round with minimal maintenance.
If your lawn is an annual, then you have the option of growing a perennial lawn or a perennially grown lawn. A perennial lawn requires less upkeep than an annual one since there is no need to mow and fertilize. However, the grass may not be as vigorous so it won’t last as long. If you choose to plant a perennial lawn, make sure you use a fertilizer formulated specifically for perennials which will help keep the grass healthier longer.
What kind of soil do I want my lawn?
You have several options when it comes to choosing your soil type. Sandy soil drains well but tends to dry out faster. Clay soil retains moisture longer but doesn’t allow for good drainage. If you already know what type of soil you have, then look for a seed mix formulated for that specific type. If you don’t know what kind of soil you have, try this simple test. Dig a hole approximately 12 inches deep and fill it halfway with water. Mark the level of the water and check it after 24 hours. If the water level has dropped more than half, you have sandy soil. If it is within 1 inch of the original water level, you have clay soil.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of soil. Since sandy soil dries out faster, your grass will need more watering. However, if you’re worried about your soil being too wet, you can add drainage to your soil by creating a raised bed with sand and gravel. Since sandy soil drains well, you may want to add in some topsoil along with the sand and gravel to replace some of the nutrients that were lost during the draining process.
Clay soil retains moisture which is good if you have a dry climate. It can become too wet though if you don’t let it dry out between waterings. To fix this problem, you can break up your soil with a spade or digging tool and allow the top layer to dry out.
Grasses are one of the few plants that can adapt well to different types of soil, so don’t worry too much about it. If you’re still concerned about your soil type, you can always choose a blend mix.
How should I prepare my soil?
Choose a sunny location for your lawn unless you plan on installing an irrigation system. Remove all weeds, rocks, sticks, and other debris by raking or using a leaf blower or vacuum. Use a spade or digging tool to break up the soil to a depth of 8 inches if it is compacted. For all other soil types, dig down at least 8 inches and remove the rocks and roots you encounter.
If your soil type is clay, you may need to dig out 11 inches or more since the top layer of soil may be too wet and not allow your grass to receive the nutrients it needs to thrive. You can add rotted manure or compost to the soil before you begin adding the soil back. Spread the organic matter over your plot and till it into the top 8 inches of soil. This will help with nutrient intake by your grass as well as add some much needed organic material.
If you’re afraid that your soil is too sandy and won’t retain nutrients or moisture, mix in some organic matter (leaves, shredded bark, etc.) with your existing soil. You can till it in or leave it on top to act as a mulch.
How do I prepare soil for overseeding?
Overseeding is a great way to fill in sparse areas in your lawn or to add low-maintenance grass in unattractive bare spots. The best time to overseed is in the Spring or Fall, but it can be done any time the soil isn’t frozen. You’ll need to begin by tilling your soil if you haven’t done so already.
Step 1: Time to get your soil ready!
Till your soil to at least a 8-inch depth.
Add compost, manure or other organic material and till it in. This will add nutrients as well as help hold the soil together when you begin spreading grass seed.
Test the moisture of your soil. If it is too wet, let it dry out a bit before moving on to the seeding process.
Step 2: Sowing the seeds
Gently rake the top layer of soil to create a shallow trench for the grass seeds. Using a hand spreader or a lawn roller, begin seeding at a medium width and then work your way up to a wider spread. Rake the seed in gently and then water it lightly with a sprinkler or by careful hand watering. A hose attachment that emits a soft spray is best for this.
You’ll want to keep the soil lightly moistened and regularly rake the top layer of soil to help with water retention. After 6-10 days you should begin to see signs of new growth. If you live in an area that gets heavy traffic or you have particularly thick grass, you may need to mow a few times before the new grass is thick enough to be left unmowed.
Using a soft brush, carefully clean off your seeds before they become overly tangled in the grass and remove all the chaff from the seeds.
What does the job pay?
Anywhere from nothing to what you decide. Many people use their lawns as a sort of cheap outdoor decoration and feel no need to pay you. Others may be willing to pay in appreciation for your work. You may also want to consider raising your prices or requiring payment before beginning work.
Most lawns will take anywhere from 1-3 hours to complete, depending on their size and condition.
$5/hour – $15/hour
$0-$3 per lawn
Approximately 2 hours per lawn
That’s it! If you have any questions or need some help, just give us a call.
We’ll see you in the Spring!
Step 1: Set your price
A good starting price for mowing lawns is $15 per session. However, you can charge more or less depending on your area and the quality (not time) of work required. Sometimes, simple adjustments in the way you present yourself and your service can result in higher prices.
Tip: If you feel uncomfortable charging a high price, offer to also trim their bushes and clean their gutters for an additional cost.
Sources & references used in this article:
Growth and nutrient use in four grasses under drought stress as mediated by silicon fertilizers by AE Eneji, S Inanaga, S Muranaka, J Li… – Journal of Plant …, 2008 – Taylor & Francis
Global and national burden of diseases and injuries among children and adolescents between 1990 and 2013: findings from the global burden of disease 2013 study by …, A Goto, D Gunnell, GJ Hankey, RJ Hay… – JAMA …, 2016 – jamanetwork.com
Etiology of interepidemic periods of mosquito-borne disease by SI Hay, MF Myers, DS Burke… – Proceedings of the …, 2000 – National Acad Sciences
Drug-resistant tuberculosis: time for visionary political leadership by …, S Masham, I Adetifa, N Ford, H Cox, SD Lawn… – The Lancet infectious …, 2013 – Elsevier