Lawn Maintenance Tips for Swimming Pool Owners

A well maintained lawn enhances the environmental, recreational, and aesthetic benefit of a yard.  Swimming pool owners, of course, tend to spend a lot of time outdoors in the Summer.  That means a lot of time near or on the lawn, so lawn maintenance is an important topic for pool owners.

Getting your lawn in top shape isn’t as easy as just turning on the hose.  But, with a few maintenance and schedule tweaks, you can keep your backyard as useful, attractive, and healthy as the above.

Soil Should Breathe.  The health of the soil below your grass is an integral part of a healthy lawn.  If your soil is hard and compressed it can’t do its job, and your grass will suffer.  Use a core aerifier or lawn spiker to relieve compaction.  This will increase rooting depth and enhance access to soil water and nutrient reserves.  Be careful using a spiker if you have a Soft-Side Above Ground Pool in your yard!

Mowing Correctly.  Your mowing schedule should be like your haircut schedule: regular intervals and “not too short.”  Each time you mow you shouldn’t cut more than one-third of the grass blade to avoid weakening or killing the plant.  For reference, a typical backyard lawn should be kept between 2 and 3 inches, but a variety of factors—including type of grass, amount of daily sun, and amount of rainfall—affect what is best for your grass.  Consult a local professional in your region.

Nutrient Considerations.  It should come as no surprise that nearly every lawn benefits from the addition of fertilizer.  It’s also no surprise that homeowners should use caution when selecting and applying fertilizer to their lawns.  Too much or certain types are bad for water quality and pollute nearby lakes and streams, either directly or via underground aquifers.  Excess fertilizer may also increase the grass’ water demands, require more frequent mowing, and reduce your lawn’s “stress tolerance” during dry, warmer periods of the Summer.

Watering Schedule. From June through August, most lawns need three-fourths of an inch of water every seven days.  From April through May and September to early November, the same lawns will only need about half that due to cooler temperatures and more frequent rainfall.  Be sure to watch out for water use restrctions in your area!

Managing Weeds. Manage weeds in your yard by not going overboard.  Instead of applying a broadcast herbicide treatment across the entire yard, start by evaluating why weeds are growing or thriving in the areas they are.  Is it too shady and dry in that area?  Try trimming trees or bushes to increase sun coverage.  You can also try spot-treating or hand-pulling individual weeds.

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