Lawn care is a a battlefield for the modern living alpha Dad. How do you juggle all of your commitments to family, business success, looking sharp and having an incredible looking lawn?
After all, no self respecting man is going to be living in a house with a second rate lawn. That would just be madness.
You’re lawn is an extension of yourself. Letting it become overgrown and covered in weeds and moss signals that you don’t respect your garden, your home.
It’s a constant struggle.
Thankfully, I’m pretty sure I’ve cracked it. Which is why I’ve written this lawn care guide for Alpha Dads. Keep reading if you want to have an awesome lawn like mine.
Business at the Front, Party at the Back
In a lot of ways, the key to having an alpha lawn care regime is to treat your garden like it’s a mullet hair cut from the 1980’s.
The main premise with a mullet was ‘business at the front, party at the back’. So you kept everything nice and short and neatly clipped at the front of your head whereas the back was where all the fun happened. Literally.
That’s how I keep my lawn. I have a thin strip at the front of my house which I keep looking really sharp all year round whereas the back is where the fun happens: barbecues, parties and kids play time.
It’s very forgiving but free from blemishes like weeds
It’s respectful to women, especially grandmothers (OK, so that’s just me, not the grass)
My back grass is hard wearing and maintained for utility. After all it needs to absorb all the parties and family BBQs of an alpha Dad’s social life (which is a lot).
So how do you go about having a lawn system that any alpha Dad could be proud of? Funny you should ask because I’m about to hit you with my Top Alpha Lawn Care Tips. Keep reading to be blinded by knowledge.
Regular Cutting: Harness the Power of Lateral Spread
Grass is a spreader. No I don’t mean it likes gossip. I mean it propagates by vegetative spread (science alert!). It grows laterally (sideways) as well as vertically (up and down).
To have an impressive lawn, you need to harness the power of the lateral spread. This is where regular cutting comes in.
Regular cutting stimulates the lateral growth which makes your lawn thicker and harder wearing. For best results you should lift the grass clippings.
This will reduce the risk of mess to your spotless home and also means your muscle tees wont get covered in grass clippings when your play fighting with your kids on a Sunday afternoon after church.
Regular cutting will also reduce the amount of broadleaved weeds in your lawn as most of them don’t like getting a regular clipping.
So what is a regular cut? This depends on how fast your grass is growing. I live in West Scotland where it’s fairly mild and wet so my grass grows faster than a BMW driver stealing your parking spot. I’ll cut once a week or even once every 5 days if necessarily.
Cutting your grass too short can cause ‘scalping’ or scorching which is when the vulnerable grass underneath the main lawn is exposed and goes yellow. This not only looks bad, it also opens your grass up to disease.
(I use a Bosch – because it sounds more ‘Alpha’ than Mountfield or Makita)
Regular Watering: Because No Man wants a Dry Sward
‘Sward’ is just a technical term for your lawn. And the last thing you want is for your grass to dry out.
Just like you, your lawn gets dry quickly in hot weather. If it hasn’t rained for a week, you should think about getting the hosepipe out and giving your grass a good soaking.
Kids love to do this too so you could ask them to ‘help’ and then retreat inside to read some Dale Carnegie or listen to the Tim Ferris podcast while meditating.
Alpha-Lawn Tip: If you walk on your grass and it doesn’t ‘spring’ back up, it probably needs watering. A lawn affected by drought is more likely to become diseased and look like a big shriveled up yellow lemon. So don’t let it happen. Unless you want to lose the respect of everyone you know and more importantly, yourself.
Your reward for all the weird looks the neighbours give you is a perfect green carpet that either showcases your home or is an extensive outdoor play space for young and old.
(I use a hose for watering. It’s more personal)
Regular Feeding, Weeding and Moss Kill
This is the third part of the holy trinity of lawn care: regular feeding. Feeding and Moss kill is probably the most neglected aspect of lawn care. Not taking an interest in this aspect of lawn care is like going to the gym but not taking protein supplements:
My lawn supplement regime has three parts:
Springtime: Lawn Sand
Don’t be fooled – this ain’t sand. It’s ferrous sulphate mixed with sand. It performs two functions. Firstly it will BURN THE CRAP out of any broadleaved weeds or moss that may be lurking on your green carpet. As long as its applied properly (more on that later) it won’t affect the grass itself.
When ferrous sulphate is mixed with water, it turns to sulphuric acid. This acidifies the soil which makes your grass greener. This acidification controls some pests including leather jackets (crane fly larva, not the local biker gang).
I apply by hand – roughly one handful per square metre. Always wear gloves – there’s nothing alpha about being burned by sulphuric acid.
Summer: Feeding Time
Summer is the time for growth so I use a quick acting summer feed. This gets the grass growing in double quick time and helps it recover from all the long play dates and social occasions that being an alpha Dad brings.
Again I use a hand applicator – not because it’s easier but because I have a small garden and using a wheeled applicator would look utterly ridiculous.
Autumn: Nice and Slow Release
Autumn is time for things to slow down a little. I apply a slow release feed to keep the roots growing all winter (yes, in temperate climates, your lawn will grow throughout the year).
Its unlikely I’ll cut the lawn during the winter although last year was mild and I was tempted…If you live in the South of England, you might need to cut all year round.
(Contrast with my neighbour’s (left of picture) grass. He doesn’t use lawn sand. And it shows)
Summary – Go Forth and Make Your Lawn Great Again
This has been a high level run through of basic lawn care. But if you follow these tips, your lawn will improve in thickness as well as becoming harder wearing, greener and free of pesky weeds. The treatments I described are not expensive (although finding lawn sand which is pretty old school can be a challenge).
Let me know how you get on and feel free to post your own lawn care tips in the comments section below.
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