Summer in Southern California is hot, dry, and practically rain-free. Keeping your lawn thriving in these conditions might seem daunting, but by following a few simple steps it can be easily accomplished.
To grow and thrive, grass needs a proper balance of sunlight, oxygen, water, and nutrients. Too much or too little of any one of these and your grass will suffer. Grass gets 3 of these things (water, oxygen, and nutrients) from the soil, so having good soil is very important. You don’t want your soil to have too much sand or clay in it, as this will impede the flow of water and oxygen to the roots.
The ideal soil for growing grass is called loam soil, which is composed of sand, silt, and clay in specific quantities. An easy way to test your soil is to grab a handful and squeeze it. When you open your hand, one of three things will happen:
Another good test to getting your lawn care right is to check the pH level of your soil. A test kit can be picked up cheaply at any home and garden center. Ideally, the soil should have a neutral pH level, somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0. If your soil is below 6.0, it’s too acidic and lime should be added. If it’s above 7.0, it’s too alkaline and gardener’s sulfur should be added.
Certain grasses fare better under different environments, and it’s important to know which grass is the right kind for your area. The grass types below are best suited for Southern California’s climate.
Mowing your grass high (usually using the highest blade setting on your lawn mower) and keeping it a bit long will produce a stronger and healthier grass.
Longer grass takes in more sunlight, which creates a deeper root system and makes the grass better suited to survive droughts, insects, and disease. It also makes it more difficult for weeds to grow. You should aim for a height between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches which is only an inch higher than where most people cut.
You can also help your lawn by recycling the clippings, just let them fall back on the grass rather than into a bag. Grass clippings will decompose and become a natural fertilizer.
Watering your lawn correctly and with the right frequency will ensure it’s healthy and stays strong, particularly during the dry season.
Your lawn’s watering needs depends on the type of grass you have, the soil, and how much rainfall you get. But, there are still good watering practices you can follow to get the most out of it.
By following these simple steps to Southern California lawn care, you can have a lawn that stays green and healthy all year. If you have any other questions about your lawn or wish to speak with a designer, simply fill out our instant estimate form or give us a call at (818) 293-5921.