Top 6 steps to a beautiful, healthy lawn

How you treat your lawn in the spring has everything to do with how well the grass flourishes come summertime. Many people think that lawns have the capacity to jump-start themselves in the spring and maintain their health all alone. As with all growing things, your immature lawn needs nutrients, sunlight and TLC. Here are six ways to get your lawn ready for the year.

  1. Clean up. There are several spring lawn care musts, and clearing fall and winter debris from the lawn is paramount for success. Rake deep to remove dead grass, leaves, mud and debris.
  2. Break up compaction. The roots of your grass need to absorb water and nutrients directly. If the soil is compacted, rent an aerator or walk your lawn with a pitchfork.
  3. Amend your soil. A favorable soil pH is necessary for lawn health. Send a soil sample to a local university extension. Most amendments are made to correct for high soil acidity using a lime-based product.
  4. Remove weeds and crabgrass. The weeds in your lawn survived winter, so they’re hearty. Get them out now by the roots. If you decide on using pre-emergent herbicides, now’s the time to apply it. Pull out new sprouted weeds as they arrive.
  5. Overseed bald patches. Wait four weeks after using any pre-emergent herbicide to overseed. Whether it’s that bald spot under a tree or the section ripped out by heavy traffic, you should seed it anew with the same type of seed you originally sowed.
  6. Fertilizing. Hopefully you fertilized your lawn last fall. Spring is the time for light feeding to prevent weeds from getting a big start on the season. I prefer natural compost or using clippings from the mulch mower in my lawn care regimen.

There you have it: lawn care secrets to build your grass into splendid shape by summer.

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Nature’s way: 3 tips for a greener lawn

Observing how plants grow in nature provides ideas for effective lawn care. Try these tips for growing and maintaining a healthy lawn:

1. Variety: Although uniformly green lawns are a popular goal, such uniformity rarely occurs in nature. When was the last time you saw a forest consisting of one type of tree, or a meadow with only one type of wildflower? Seeding or sodding your lawn with a blend of turf grasses encourages vigor and resistance to damage caused by pests or disease targeting a specific type of turf grass. Another plus for a blended lawn is wear and tear; no type of turf grass can withstand constant wear and tear, but a blend of durable turf grasses can boost your lawn’s chances of survival.

2. Breathing deeply: Yoga instructors and physical trainers know the benefits of breathing deeply for humans; aeration is likewise good for lawns. Aerating your lawn provides air circulation near your lawn’s root system, and facilitates absorption of nutrients by roots. In lawns where winter moisture accumulates, aeration helps soil underneath your lawn dry out. When to aerate depends on your climate and soil texture. Aerate both spring and fall if you have clay soil that accumulates moisture; aerating once a year either in spring or fall is good for other soil types. If you’re reseeding or sodding your lawn, wait until the new lawn is well established before aerating.

3. Moderation in mowing: Natural landscapes don’t include fields and plains with buzz-cuts. Setting your mower on its highest setting provides a healthy cutting level for your grass. In general, plan on trimming about one third the height of your grass each time you mow. Longer grass shelters new growth from summer heat, while discouraging weeds from sprouting in your lawn. Sharpening your mower blades assists with avoiding ragged cutting that damages your grass and detracts from its appearance.

Let’s get going with the growing season! May yours be the brag-worthiest lawn in your neighborhood.

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