Everybody loves the look of a lush, green, sprawling lawn. And there is no doubt that a well-maintained lawn not only enhances the look of your property, but also can increase your property value. But lawns are much more than just decoration and there are many more benefits to be derived than just looks.
A thick, healthy lawn benefits the environment by helping to clean the air, trap carbon dioxide and generate oxygen and reduce soil erosion. Reducing soil erosion is an especially important benefit if you live in one of the many areas of Trinidad that are prone to flooding.
Having a lawn on your property can also reduce the temperature around your home, a welcome benefit in this tropical climate.
But installing a lawn isn’t as simple as planting some grass and letting it grow. The type of grass is important, and the installation and maintenance process may be intimidating to some. This is where TriniHelper comes in. We are here to help you choose the best type of lawn to suit your needs and to help you maintain that lush, green look once your lawn is complete.
The first thing you need to know is that not all grasses are the same and each type of lawn grass offers different benefits and functions. Some are easier than others to maintain.
One of the more popular types of lawn grass is Bermuda grass. This type of lawn grass is perfectly suited to Trinidad’s warm climate as it thrives in tropical conditions and has a high heat tolerance. Under tropical conditions, Bermuda grass will maintain its dark green color but, in cold climates, it will turn brown. This type of lawn grass is best installed where there is direct sunlight as it will not grow properly in the shade. It is durable enough to withstand high foot traffic, making it ideal for commercial properties or homes with children and pets. Its durability is the reason why this is the grass of choice for golf courses, fields, parks and other recreation areas.
Bermuda grass is relatively easy to maintain and requires watering every 4 – 7 days. It is however very quick growing and will need regular mowing. It should be mowed to about 1-2 inches in height. Bermuda grass doesn’t require frequent fertilizing and should only be fertilized with a fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphate and potassium once or twice per year.
Zoysia grass is similar to Bermuda grass in that it is very tolerant to warm climates and can withstand heavy foot traffic without thinning or developing unsightly brown patches. The color ranges from light to medium green so if you prefer a dark green lawn, this may not be the choice for you. Like Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass will turn brown and go into dormancy if it is not watered for some time. But once irrigation resumes, the grass will adapt and turn green again. Zoysia grass requires watering at least once every 4 – 7 days and should be fertilized twice a year. It is however slower to grow and may not need to be mowed as often as Bermuda grass. Both Bermuda and Zoysia grass are highly resistant to weeds and insects.
Another popular type of lawn grass is Centipede grass. This type of lawn grass is praised for its adaptability to hot temperatures and climates and its relatively low maintenance requirements. Because it grows very slowly, it will not require frequent mowing. Centipede grass is aggressive enough to inhibit the growth of weeds and insect infestation. It can grow well in the shade although it is best when exposed to direct sunlight. However, Centipede grass is not very durable and is susceptible to thinning. This type of lawn would not be suitable for areas where heavy foot traffic is expected. It is better suited for decorative purposes.
St. Augustine Grass
St Augustine grass is another type that is well-suited for warm climates. It can thrive both in the sunlight and in the shade. It grows quickly and thickly and can withstand normal foot traffic. It will require more frequent mowing and watering at least every 3 – 6 days. St Augustine grass however has a reputation for being vulnerable to pests and insects. This can be tackled with the use of chemical insecticides.
If you want the look of a lawn but you’re not sure you can commit to the maintenance process, there is still an option for you. Artificial turf just might be the answer. Synthetic lawn that mimic the look and feel of natural lawn grass has been growing in popularity. This type of lawn is used mostly in indoor areas or covered sporting stadiums as it would be difficult to have enough sunlight for natural grass to grow well. But many people have been using artificial turf in their residential and commercial properties. It’s most convenient quality is that it does not require trimming or watering. With artificial turf, you need not worry about insects, weeds or fertilizing and it stand up very well to foot traffic.
One drawback to this type of lawn is that artificial turf tends to retain heat from the sun and can increase the temperature around your property. It has a limited life and will require periodic cleaning.
Now that you know which types of lawn grass are available and best suited for this country’s climate, and you think you’re ready to make your choice, there are a few tips you should know on how to properly care for your new lawn.
1) Weeds are inevitable. Even though some lawn grass types are better able to inhibit weed growth, sooner or later, weeds will grow. The best way to handle this is to manually pull weeds by hand or using a handheld weeder. Make sure to pull the weeds out with the roots to prevent regrowth. If there are too many weeds to pull by hand, you may need to consider using a herbicide that can be applied to the entire lawn, or directly to the weeds. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.
2) You may need to dethatch your lawn every so often. Thatch is the debris left over after you mow your lawn. It is not recommended to let this thatch build up more than an inch, so you can remove this using a power dethatcher or a simple handheld rake.
3) Your lawn may also require aeration from time to time. This process involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to properly penetrate the soil and help your lawn roots to “breathe” and grow more deeply. This will help your lawn grow stronger and lusher.
4) Over time, your lawn might start showing signs of wear and develop thin or bare spots. You should overseed your lawn to help it recover from these issues. This process is simply applying grass seeds to the affected areas and watering it to help the grass to establish.
5) Of course, no proper lawn maintenance regime can exclude mowing. But be sure not to over mow your lawn. Leave at least 2 to 3 inches of grass as taller grass helps to inhibit weed growth. Change your mowing pattern and do not mow in the same direction every time you mow your lawn. This will help to prevent soil compaction.
6) Even lawn grasses that thrive in hot climates need water to grow healthy and maintain its green color. Make sure to provide enough moisture, especially during extremely hot periods. Fertilize your lawn at least once or twice per year and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions of the fertilizer you choose.
When you are ready to install your lawn, TriniHelper is standing by with a team of Professional Landscapers ready to do the job!