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Children love the outdoors. They enjoy the extra space to run around. And, that’s why it’s important that you employ the right lawn maintenance tips in order to have a child-friendly lawn.
Having a child will make previously simple lawn care decisions just a little more complicated. You have to make sure that your lawn is safe for your little ones to run and play outside.
Because, while lawns and gardens enhance the beauty of your yard and give your children the perfect opportunity to play and learn, they can be fraught with hazards, including harmful chemical fertilizers, pesticides, sharp tools, and power equipment.
Why is a safe, green, child-friendly lawn important?
A well-kept lawn can be the perfect learning ground for your little ones. It’s here that they can explore biodiversity, learn to identify different plants, listen to the birds sing, and explore the various scents, colors, and textures of nature. Or, simply lie back on the grass and watch the clouds.
Therefore, your lawn needs to be safe and kid-friendly. For instance, applying fertilizers and lawn chemicals can be really harmful. If you see the larger picture, these can be a non-point source of water pollution. Nutrients that promote grass growth cause algae and pond weeds — affecting our food quality and the habitat for aquatic organisms.
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How do I take care of my lawn to make it more child-friendly?
Here are 10 most impactful lawn maintenance tips to keep your lawn safe and child-friendly. These are perfect for any soil type and different types of grasses.
1. Choose natural lawn-boosting options
Feed your lawn with organic fertilizers. Remember that organic fertilizers have phosphate, potash, and nitrogen – the three crucial ingredients that your lawn needs. You may also opt for natural options like compost, grass clippings, and seaweed.
These fertilizers are safe for kids who may end up frolicking in the yard on a daily basis.
Clover can also boost lawn health. This plant is rich in nitrogen, giving your grass a beautiful green appearance whilst making it more resistant to grubs, drought, and other harmful elements.
2. Schedule your lawn maintenance well
The best time for you to feed your lawn is in autumn. It’s during this season that your lawn becomes hungry and the roots will most likely develop. But aside from this, it’s also the time when your little ones may spend more time indoors.
Furthermore, applying organic fertilizers during autumn will give enough time for the lawn booster to soak in before the start of summer growth.
During springtime, the best lawn maintenance steps include raking leaves and dried grass blades, overseeding to fill the bare spots, aerating any compacted soil, removing weed, applying fertilizer, mowing, and watering.
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3. Secure your lawn perimeter
Check the perimeter of your yard. Look for any pointy sticks, loose wires, and construction materials. If you spot an area that’s low enough to harbor standing water after a rain, level it. You don’t want it to pose any risk of drowning or be a haven for mosquitos. Cover or fence off any ponds in the vicinity.
4. Control pests naturally
Despite all your efforts to keep your lawn pest-free, some unwanted guests may still find their way in. As soon as you notice pest infestation, make sure to control it immediately using natural products.
You can opt for microbial pesticides to combat pests. An example of this is when plant-eating grubs consume the spores released (a type of microbial pesticide); bacteria will then grow inside them leading the pests to die within 7-21 days.
Additionally, you can use neem oil to get rid of mole crickets and other pests that harm your yard in the autumn. Remember to dilute this natural insecticide with water before spraying it all over your yard. This is also one of the best ways to prevent powdery mildew or lawn diseases.
Moreover, you can use beneficial nematodes for pest control such as cutworms, Japanese beetles, and grubs.
5. Get rid of weeds safely
Weeds can take over your lawn, so at the first sign of growth, you must get rid of them immediately. As much as possible, use natural methods to nip weed growth in the bud.
For instance, you can make your own spray solution by combining two parts of vinegar, some drops of dish soap and one part water. Use this solution each morning, but avoid spraying it on other plants. To make sure that weeds won’t come back, you can also consider corn gluten application.
For a totally natural weed killer, you can just pour boiling water over the weeds. In fact, this is proven effective in getting rid of even the toughest weeds.
The idea here is to limit the use of any synthetic or pre-emergent herbicide that will damage your soil over time, and which can pose a danger to both kids and pets.
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6. Keep the lawnmower in excellent condition
Mowing is a crucial lawn maintenance activity meant to keep the grass healthy and safe for your kids to play on. But its success lies in the condition of the lawnmower.
For instance, dull blades will tear the grass unevenly, leaving the grass with sharp, ragged edges. This will not only invite certain lawn diseases but can also harm your little ones. Also, remember to adjust your mowing height for convenience.
Here are some lawn mower care tips for you:
- Make sure that the mower blades are sharp each time you cut the grass.
- Wear gloves while cleaning, inspecting, or sharpening the blades.
- Disconnect the spark plug before cleaning your lawnmower.
- Don’t forget to clean the undercarriage with a wire brush, or spray it with a hose.
- Check the oil level and air filter and clean it if it’s dirty or clogged.
7. Mow your lawn a little less
Instead of mowing your lawn once a week, it’s a good idea to mow it every two weeks. Interestingly, longer grass will help to reduce the amount of evaporation in the soil, shade the soil, and improve photosynthesis — resulting in a strong and healthy lawn.
Moreover, as you cut your grass less often, there will be lesser lawn mower emissions — improving your air quality. Remember that children are especially sensitive to these atmospheric pollutants. It’s best to reduce them as much as you can!
8. Lessen your watering schedule
Aside from feeding your lawn, it is also important to water it to keep it healthy and green. But deep watering should only be done once a week.
Avoid using irrigation systems or sprinkler systems on automatic timers to water your lawn. They waste water and will result in increased runoff into surface waters. You can even think of installing a rainwater harvesting system to save water that falls onto your roof.
9. Don’t forget to aerate the soil
Kids can create tracks in your lawn, causing bald patches to appear. And because of frequent use, the soil can become compacted, which then prevents the growth of healthy grass. Bald patches indicate that it is time for you to aerate the soil – you can either use garden forks or core aerators to do this so that soil compaction is reduced.
Want to bring back your lawn to life? Get rid of old dead grass, weeds, moss, and fungi, re-turf any bare patches, feed the soil, and water it regularly.
10. Invest in professional lawn care services
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You may think that caring for a lawn is easy. But if you do not have the right resources, knowledge, and expertise, you can end up having an ugly, unhealthy yard.
For many growing and busy families, hiring professionals to take care of their lawn care needs is a time and cost-saving option. Nothing is more valuable than seeing your kids happily playing outdoors and knowing that they are safe because your lawn is professionally-maintained.
Lawn care is essential. Apart from letting your kids enjoy the outdoors, a healthy lawn provides excellent soil erosion and flood control. It enhances biodegradation of synthetic organic compounds, and absorbs carbon dioxide — strengthening the root system.
Everybody loves a good lawn. But if you have kids, you must especially keep it safe, well-maintained, and stylish.