Low Maintenance Lawn Care
Once your Pearl's Premium lawn is well-established, follow these steps to maintain a beautiful lawn and capture the benefits of a low maintenance lawn care program.
- Mow your lawn at least 3" high (ideally once ever 3-4 weeks) with a sharp blade
- Use a mulching mower and leave the clippings to return nutrients to soil
- Spread an organic fertilizer in spring and fall or top dress with 1/4" of compost annually
- Aerate your lawn once a year (ideally in the spring) to introduce oxygen into the soil
- Avoid watering to encourage deep root growth
Detailed Instructions for Maintaining the Ultimate Green Lawn:
- Surface Rake your lawn to clear clippings, stones and thatch. In spring, only rake surface (do not deep dethatch) to avoid bringing up weed seeds to the surface.
- Lime to Make Soil Less Acidic: Test soil to find the right amount of lime to bring soil between 6 and 7 pH or just use a simple rule of thumb of top spreading one 40 pound bag of pellet lime for every 1,000 square feet of lawn to make pH more neutral. This will encourage grass growth and discourage weeds growth.
- Aerate to Loosen Soil : Use an aerator that punches holes to bring air and water to the roots and lessen compaction of the soil. For most lawns do this once (or twice) per year for compacted/clay soil lawns or lawns that do not drain well. If you use less toxic lawn chemicals that discourage microbe growth, aeration is not as necessary and may be needed only once every two years. Rent a self-propelled core aerator (not spike aerator) that pulls up finger size soil plugs onto your lawn that melt away natually. It is helpful to aerate the day after a rain (or if needed a watering) to moisten the lawn. Scientific evidence suggests aeration and cutting tall with a sharp blade makes a measurable difference in the long term health, quality and look of the lawn. An aerated lawn favors grass and lessens weeds. A compacted lawn favors weeds!
- Spread Organic Compost or Fertilizer: Spread a small amount of organic compost (a 1/4 inch layer equals 3/4 cu. yard for every 1,000 sq ft) once a year or an organic fertilizer in spring and fall to add nutrients to your lawn and help reduce weeds and grubs. Compost requires more effort and cost but also introduces microbes to help aerate your lawn for the year.
- Watering: To promote deepest root growth and out-compete weeds and high maintenance grasses, avoid watering your lawn. In hotter southern and western climates, periodic watering may be required. Also, in the first year of a newly-planted Pearl's Premium lawn during periods of extreme heat or drought, water deeply (1" of water) once per week. Avoid watering during hottest parts of day.
- Mowing: Cut your lawn high with a sharp blade (a dull blade will tear the grass, exposing it to disease). Cut once in June, once in July, optionally once in August (only if it needs it) and once in September. If you never cut it, Pearl’s Premium (shade mix) leans over and turns into a 4” high meadow. Mow fall leaves into lawn or rake or blow away so leaves never stay more than one week on grass
- Overseed Next Seeding Season: (Mid April or beginning September), cut with sharp blade when lawn is dry in stages, 1/3 of grass height at a time, cutting back to 1” tall; rake away clippings and overseed at the same rate or heavier rate to later shade the soil and prevent weeds from starting (if overseeding in spring). This second seeding (over-seeding) is very important to help out-compete weeds, cover any bald patches, correct erosion/damage and thicken the lawn. Water for a month when over-seeding to thicken lawn
- For Weed Control: A thick, healthy lawn, cut with a sharp blade 3+ inch tall, that was aerated, with proper pH and a ¼” of top-spread organic compost has few weeds! It can take time to get that ultimate green lawn. For the first year, lower your expectations and expect some weeds. Aerate twice per year and heavily over-seed (8 pounds per 1,000 sq ft with Pearl’s Premium) to help out compete weeds. Then spread corn gluten in the first week of April to selectively prevent broadleaf weeds, along with some optional hand pulling to control weeds. Over-seed again a month later. Ask a local lawn care professional for new, organic weed control techniques.
- Remove Thatch (Fall only) steel rake deeply (or rent a de-thatcher for big lawns) to loosen old clippings, thatch, sticks, and above ground roots. Once the heat of summer is well-gone and you're ready for your fall clean-up, you can cut your Pearl's Premium lawn shorter (no less than 2") and bag the clippings to facilitate thatch removal and clean-up.
Enjoy your lush healthy, low maintenance lawn!
Questions? See our FAQ page.
Please note using the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, Pearl's may need supplemental watering after established in Zones 7-10. Please note that you still should be able to cut back your watering by 75%! Zones 2-6 should water once a week deeply during drought times if possible during the first 18 months until roots are able to tap into natural water and nutrients.