Top 6 Types of Garden Grasses You Should Choose

Garden Grasses

A beautifully manicured lawn begins with knowing and selecting the most suitable grass to plant. Blending different grasses in a way that the limitations of one are the strengths of the other grass is an added advantage that guarantees an evergreen grass garden.

There are two types of grasses in relation to seasons:

– Cool-Season Grasses: The cool-season grasses often thrive during spring and fall seasons and struggle through winter. Mostly, this type of grasses is accustomed to the northern climate and there are different varieties for each type. Mixing them up when planting is always advisable so that they interchange in case one fails due to unfavorable weather, the other type of grass will take over.
– Warm-Season Grasses: They are the reverse of cool-season grasses and do quite well in the southern climate. They turn brown during cold season because they are accustomed to hot weather even though they are shade tolerant. They can be planted in the form of sod or seeds.
The warm-season and cool-season grasses have several varieties, below are six of the most common ones.

6 Types of grass you should choose

1. Fine FescuesTall Fescues

This type of grass looks best presentable at an average length of 2 ½ inches, has fine narrow leaves that contain a red tinge. It is a cool-season grass that can be grown on its own or can be mixed with the Kentucky bluegrass or the tall fescue grass. It is low maintenance grass and doesn’t require high-grade soil for it to do well. The fine fescue grass has four kinds that include red fescue, sheep fescue, chewings fescue and the hard fescue.

2. Kentucky BluegrassKentucky Bluegrass

It is the most common type of grass. If you prefer a smooth lawn, this is definitely your go-to grass and its fine texture is a plus especially for a home lawn. The best mowing height is up to 3 ½ inches and has little shade tolerance. It quickly grows during winter and during summer growth stagnates. It grows up to a minimum period of one month and a maximum of three months and is highly disease resistant when compared to other types of grass. To maintain its lush green color during hot seasons, it needs thorough and frequent watering. One of the unique features is that it has an assortment of more than 200 types. It blends well with the fine fescues grass and the perennial ryegrass.

3. Perennial RyegrassPerennial Ryegrass

The only notable differentiating factor the perennial ryegrass has from the bluegrass is that its base and sometimes the crown is red. Its color shades, however, differ because of the wide variety. It is mostly used in playing fields and homesteads with lots of outdoor activities due to its high traffic tolerance. It needs to be watered regularly especially during hot seasons and can’t survive in extreme conditions. It is a low maintenance grass, grows very fast and can be mixed with the Bermuda grass. A length of 3 ½ inches is the ideal mowing height for this grass.

4. Buffalo GrassBuffalo Grass

The buffalo grass grows perfectly well in hot areas with well-drained soils. Even though it is of poor quality, it is sometimes used for soil erosion prevention. Less cost will be incurred for maintenance, but weekly mowing is important during peak seasons. 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches should, however, be maintained for it to look neat. Six to eight hours of sun are perfect for the grass and it is also important to note that excess watering encourages weeds and disease vulnerability. Sometimes rainfall is usually enough to sustain the grass.

5. Tall FescueTall Fescue

As the name suggests, the grass is tall with broad, flat-like rough leaves. Living in a hot and dry place, you can consider selecting the tall fescue because of the high resistance it has for drought and diseases. This is due to its deep roots that also allow it to persevere high heat. It requires low maintenance, regular watering and has a high compatibility with other types of grass

6. Centipede GrassCentipede Grass

This type of grass is high maintenance, the texture is fine and is a cool season grass. Just like the tall fescue, it can tolerate very high heat and equally some bits of shade. Of all types of grasses, it grows the lowest to form a carpet-like appearance and texture. Sufficient air circulation in the grass suppresses diseases. For the grass to turn out well, you need to take care of it by properly mowing it to a height of ¾ inch and ensuring that you regularly water it.

Ornamental Grass

To break the monotony of these grasses, you can patch the lawn with ornamental grass to add some life to it. They can, however, be grown on their own and turn out perfectly okay. They change colors at different stages of growth into deeper tones when they are fully grown. Examples include fountain grass, little bluestem, and switchgrass among others. You can never go wrong with these grasses and you might want to consider growing them in your lawn.
Most of them don’t need high maintenance and planting them requires little effort and less time. They also grow within a short time and are dense and for that reason, they can be grown in little amount but turn out to be pushy but neat.

Always go for grass that is pocket-friendly, in terms of purchasing it and maintaining it. Don’t choose, for instance, centipede grass and end up not being able to maintain it as it should be. Also, compatibility with the climate and the soil are crucial factors to consider. Choose the best quality that also tolerates the number of activities, for example, perennial ryegrass can be used for a golfing course. Blending the different varieties is also recommended, but not necessary. Always make sure that the grass is well trimmed, and they are well supplied with the required nutrients and sufficient moisture.

Easy Guide for Planting Flowers in Your Backyard

Plant flowers in garden

Having your backyard full of colorful flowers and fragrance is satisfying but it requires a lot of work to arrive at such a rewarding outcome. You don’t just begin gardening blindly because it is a step by step activity. You also require certain information on flowers and general gardening.

So What Basic Factors Should you be Aware of before the Pursuit?

Location

The location here is in terms of how accommodating it is for flower gardening. This is the first thing you should be wary of when growing a flower garden or even any other kinds of the garden. Will the kind of flowers you have chosen survive in that particular soil type or will you be forced to acquire a more favorable type of soil: how fertile is the soil? Is the environment, your backyard, garden/flower-friendly? How well is your backyard landscaped?

Design and Growth Variety

When you think of growing a flower garden, the first thing you think of is how you want it to look like. You should have a plan on how you want to partition the garden:  Do you want to plant your flowers in raised beds, or flat earth? What color pattern do you want or what kind of flowers would you prefer to grow?

When it comes to variety in terms of growth, there are:

Annuals – These are flowers that have a short life since they survive through one season of growth then die. For this reason, it will be easy for you to grow a variety over a particular period of time before you settle down for a specific one. The only drawback is that once you are satisfied with one, you will have to plant it back again when it dies but sometimes some annuals self-sow.

Perennials – Although they have a longer lifespan, they are more expensive than annuals. They bloom up to a guarantee of three seasons: they stay up on the soil during summer and spring periods and then die during winter.Perennials for garden

Biennials – They take a lot more time to glow when compared to the annuals and perennials because, during the first season, only the stem grows then the flowers bloom in the preceding season. They are however a bit similar to annuals in that after the flowers bloom, they die during the following season and in some cases they self-sow.

Planting the Flowers

Step One: Ground Preparation

This begins by clearing the sod, in this case, the backyard to create an appropriate ground for growing the flowers. The sod can be cleared by placing at least three layers of newspapers all over the ground and covering them with compost 3 inches high. After around four months, the sod will have died, the newspapers will have decomposed and the ground will be ready to begin planting. A quicker way to get the sod cleared is by digging through the backyard, but it is more engaging and tiresome since you also need to remove all stones as you dig.

Step Two: Tilling

Loosen the soil by tilling it to enable easy planting of the flowers. Another upside of tilling the ground is that it smoothens out the soil.Enrich the Soil

Step Three: Enrich the Soil

Most of the available organic matter works best in improving the soil. Soil enrichment is an important step because some soils may not contain rich content for flower growth.

Step Four: Get Your Flowers

After you are done with preparing the land, you need to obtain the flowers you chose to plant. They are planted in three forms:

Pre-grown Flowers

  •  They are also the potted flowers. To get the best results, you need to make sure that;
  • They have leafy stems – They signify a healthily growing plant.
  • There are no roots at the bottom growing through the holes because if there are any, it is evidence that the plant has been in the pot for too long. As a result, it may not be as healthy as it should be.
  • The soil is not frozen, flooded or dry because that means that the plant is not ready for planting.

If all the above is in check, then proceed to plant the flower and make sure the holes are deep enough to keep the roots inside the ground.

Seeds

It is advisable to check directions if any on the seed packet to ensure that you follow the right procedure to plant them. This is because different seeds are handled differently when planting. For seeds that you plan on planting in a pot first, make sure that you use a sterile potting mix because this guarantees health and curbs diseases. If you are keeping the potted flowers indoors, take them out during the day for sunlight which is an essential factor of growth.

Bulbs

When planting bulbs, make sure that the side that is showing roots should be the one placed on the ground. In simple terms, the pointed side should face upwards. When digging a hole for a bulb, a good rule of thumb is digging one that is two to three times the size of the bulb. It is also advisable to put a small fence to deter pests away.

Step Five: Watering

To tightly seal and provide moisture to the seeds or bulbs, water the entire area. Develop a habit of watering the plant on a daily basis mainly because the roots are not well established and it is after they are that you water them depending on the soil or how humid the place is.

Step Six: Mulch

A decomposing mulch will be the most suitable for the flower if it is an annual but if it is a perennial, then go with mulch that takes time to decompose. Mulching is important because it will lock the water in.

It just doesn’t end there, you need to take good care of your flower garden. Keep the garden well groomed by trimming the flowers that need trimming and weed it when necessary.

Choosing the Most Appropriate Fertilizers for a New Flower Garden

Fertilizers for Flower Garden

The reason as to why we use fertilizers when planting flowers is to add nutrients to the soil because some soils are not rich enough to fully support growth. Also, as a flower grows, it uses up the available nutrients in the soil and thus fertilizing the soil or the flower as it grows will boost its nutrient content. It is necessary to change fertilizers for flowers at different stages of growth because there are different fertilizers that work differently for the flowers as they grow.

Before applying fertilizer, it is important to test the soil for nutrients and lime levels. Carrying out a soil test will help ascertain the amount of fertilizer and/or lime to be used on the soil before planting. Also, these amounts will be determined by the size of the piece of land you plan on planting your flowers.

Best Flower Fertilizers

Complete FertilizersComplete Fertilizers

Flowers mainly use these types of fertilizers because they consist of three important elements that are;

  • Nitrogen – which endorses healthy foliage by stimulating the production of chlorophyll. A fertilizer highly rich in nitrogen will best suit flower plants that are leafy.
  • Phosphorus – A phosphorus-rich fertilizer is important for blooming of flowers and the development of healthy roots and fruits.
  • Potassium – This element acts as a boost for healthy stems and is also necessary for food manufacturing for the flowers.

Normally, complete fertilizers contain nitrogen contents either less than or equal to the phosphorus content because it is higher, it slows down flower production and encourages foliage.

Chemical Fertilizers

These are the artificial fertilizers like ammonium nitrate compounds that are obtained by combining different inorganic chemicals. They are less expensive and their nutrients are quickly absorbed in especially by the annual plants. One limitation is that they need frequent re-application since they are quickly absorbed by the plant and this results in burning. Another drawback is that they don’t enrich the soil.

Organic Fertilizers

Bagged humus and animal wastes are good examples of organic matters used as fertilizer. Using organic fertilizers improves the soil’s holding capacity for both water and nutrients and adds necessary nutrients to the flower. The downsides, however, are that;

They are slowly absorbed into plants and due to this reason, there is need to apply on a frequent basis.

Due to their slow absorption, they are not suitable when immediate attention is needed.

Care and keenness should be taken when preparing the soil for planting to avoid excesses and imbalances on different parts.

Controlled Release Fertilizers

Also known as time-release fertilizers, they are designed to release little amounts of fertilizers over a certain period of time and are applied twice in a single season. They are packed in small round or capsule-shaped shells and are most appropriate for container flower gardens. These are the best choice for you if you might forget to fertilize the flowers.

On the downside, it is difficult to know when the content is finished because the shell remains the same even after the plant has used up all the fertilizer. Therefore, close monitoring to see negative changes in the plant will be required so as to know when they are used up.

Non-controlled Granular Fertilizers

The time release fertilizers are the controlled granular formulations but there are also the non-controlled ones that stay up to a maximum of 8 weeks. They work similar to the controlled ones but the only difference is the plant feeding mode.

They have to be reapplied on a regular basis because they are prone to leaching when the plant is watered or when it rains.

Water-Soluble FertilizersWater-Soluble Fertilizers

These fertilizers come in both liquid or powder form and are ready to use since they are directly absorbed in the soil or plant. The application can be done on the soil or on both the leaves and the soil: they can also be mixed with water and used to water the flower. One advantage of the water-soluble fertilizers is that they are cheap.

A disadvantage is that they require frequent application when compared to other fertilizers like the controlled-release and non-controlled release granular fertilizers.

Foliar Fertilizers

When your flowers begin turning yellow, foliar fertilizers will be the best type of fertilizer to address the problem since they are readily absorbed in the leaves. However, some leaves don’t absorb nutrients through their leaves but for plants that allow for nutrient intake through the leaves, use this fertilizer. All potassium-related problems can be attended to by use of foliar fertilizers because it is a quick way to feed the leaves with potassium.

DIY All-purpose FertilizersDIY All-purpose Fertilizers

Instead of incurring costs procuring fertilizers, you can easily make your own using the available resources in your homestead. This is a good go to because you make the amount you will need, and the fertilizer works perfectly in boosting the general growth and blooming of flowers. Examples include fish emulsion which is made out of water and fish waste and compost tea which is a mixture of water and sack-filled compost.

Homemade fertilizers on the downside will take longer to prepare because you have to let the mixtures sit for several weeks for the fertilizer to be ready for use and to work effectively.

Bottom Line

Choosing the most appropriate fertilizer for your flower garden might be a tricky task because you first need to know how efficient the fertilizer(s) is. This is because you have to balance their application-know how to apply a certain fertilizer and when to apply it so that you don’t end up overfeeding or underfeeding the plant. It is also crucial to carry out a soil test because it provides a way forward for how to prepare it, that is, the kind and amount of fertilizer to use and if you will need to spread lime over the soil. Most cases flowers should be fertilized frequently but with weak solutions. Don’t go for very expensive fertilizers when you have a cheaper option that works the same.