M2=H2: L is for Lawn and Landscaping

Your lawn and landscaping add a finished look to your home, and they also protect your foundation if properly graded. Let’s take a look at both facets to review what your maintenance options are.

Landscaping

LAWN: Unless you had sod installed, your new lawn requires a bit of TLC at its inception. Water it with a fine spray in the morning and at noon, but do not oversaturate. If the weather is hot, you will need to water more frequently. To establish the root system well, you should plan to water your lawn twice per week in hot weather for the first two years. In this initial stage, you should avoid walking on the new grass for at least three weeks to give it a chance to get established.

When mowing your new lawn, keep the blade fairly high and overlap your mowing paths by several inches. Cutting your lawn too short, called scalping, damages the root system, allows weeds to take over and may even kill your grass. Keep the mower blade sharp and alternate direction each time you mow. Finally, never mow wet grass.

When fall arrives, you might notice bare spots where the seed did not take well. To fix this, first rake the lawn to remove grass clippings and leaf debris. Next, fertilize the entire lawn. Finally, spread grass seed in the bare areas. The cool fall temperatures are perfect for germinating grass before it enters its dormant state.

LANDSCAPING: Your landscaping is a long-range process. With a new home, it’s probable that your trees and shrubs are just small seedlings. Keep in mind that as they grow, they will occupy more space. It’s better to start with plantings spaced well apart until you can see their mature size. Over time, you can fill in the empty space with size-appropriate flowers and shrubs.

Remember that your builder graded your property to facilitate water runoff and to protect your foundation. Take care not to disturb the slope and drainage channels as you expand your landscaping. In addition, be cautious about planting large trees or shrubs too close to the foundation, as root growth could damage it.

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