The real estate market is reeling from the high number of foreclosures. These concern everyone to some degree, whether you own or rent. What it means is likely diminishing property values in your surrounding area. With the mounting number of foreclosures and falling housing prices, the disquieting reality is even the most nicely-groomed neighborhoods can gradually transform into less attractive areas. Just a few people might be less vigilant at upkeep than you diligently and proudly try to be. Real lawn lovers will stick with it and show off their pride and joy so that your lawn remains the status symbol for your home, your family, and your community.

It may also be a good idea to take it upon yourself to mow the neglected lawns of nearby properties.

Likewise, some of us may have personal economic challenges to contemplate. We fortunately enjoy decreasing costs of gasoline and heating for the time being, yet other costs of living continually rise, which can affect discretionary income and directly influence purchase decisions. In light of such circumstance, you may wish to consider a more economical approach to lawncare by reducing maintenance input to match your particular situation. With the major times for applying fertilizer being in fall for cool season-type species and summer for warm season types, then it might be wise to wait until that prime growing season time of year to concentrate your fertilizing efforts and expenditures. Whether you decide to fertilize once, twice, or three times during that growing season, remember the timely winterizing application offers the most bang, as stored reserves will carry the grass into and through the following spring. So, above all else, remember to accurately time the very last application.

Even more judicious is regular soil tests to help pinpoint precise nutrient requirements. Over fertilizing can cost you money and can cost adverse reaction to the grass plants, which can cost you more money in turn.  Applied in precise amounts according to soil test results, grass plants are able to effectively absorb and efficiently manage nutrients, thereby avoiding tie up and leaching.

Just imagine free fertilizer. Regularly mulching grass leaves recycles nutrients back into the soil.  Over the course of a season, the recycled nutrients can amount to an application of fertilizer.  That can actually translate to less fertilizer per application.  Instead of a pound of nitrogen per application, three quarters of a pound will take full advantage of the added value of returned clippings.

Another important reality is that price is not necessarily associated with any particular advantage, as the less-expensive brand equivalents assuredly provide nourishment and produce results. Content is key, not cost.

Finally, something to really think about is the cost-saving purchase of a weed control product independent of fertilizer. Instead of capriciously broadcasting fertilizer/herbicide combo, spot spraying is more effective and with timely applications, a bottle of herbicide should last much longer. Herbicide alone can possibly last years longer, as both tenet and objective to good cultural practices is to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the need for herbicide use.

Lawns not only increase the aesthetic and economic value of the landscape, they also provide playground for outside activities, prevent erosion, filter air pollutants, and provide oxygen to the environment. Indeed, maintaining an attractive lawn enhances the beauty of your home and surrounding area, but a poorly maintained lawn detracts from the landscape and diminishes value of the home and general area. Aesthetic appeal doesn’t have to be expensive though. A well-planned maintenance regime, soil testing to determine specific nutrient needs, mulch mowing, comparing prices, and shrewd use of herbicides can be both efficient and effective to produce an envied green carpet and pride of your neighborhood. Be steadfast and remember that proper irrigation, mowing, and fertilizing are the most crucial points of lawncare for a healthy and beautiful lawn.  Everything else you do is secondary to those three cultural practices.


Other helpful information
This Mississippi Extension article offers more detailed advantages of maintaining a home lawn.

This Alabama Extension article for tips on winterizing warm season grass types.

Yearly Maintenance Schedule for cool season lawns.


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them on the forum.