10 ways to keep your lawn lush | Living the Country Life
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10 ways to keep your lawn lush

Even if your lawn starts out green and lovely in the spring, it can look like a war zone by mid-summer. Win the battle with these tips!
  • Don't mow too low

    Follow the one-third rule: Never remove more than a third of the total grass-blade height with any one mowing. When the grass is growing fast, you might need to cut it two or three times a week. With most varieties of grass, the higher you can stand to cut, the healthier the lawn will look. Grass that is mowed frequently always has sufficient foliage remaining to keep it looking freshly green and aids in the growth of deeper, more abundant roots. Also, be sure to mow with a sharp blade.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Spots from Spot

    If your lawn is covered with deadened spots, you may be able to blame it on the dog. Sprinkle the lawn frequently with water to dilute the salt content of the urine. If your lawn is littered with dark green spots, chances are you have especially poor soil, and the nitrogen in the urine is acting as a fertilizer. Train your dog to find another rest stop.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Winning the weed war

    Sparse, underfertilized lawns commonly are infested with weeds. Avoid weed-and-feed products. They don't work that well, and they unnecessarily put herbicide on every inch of the lawn. Instead, mix up a tank of herbicide containing Trimec, then spot-spray the weeds.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Fertilize to strengthen your lawn

    One of the biggest issues most people face is they simply don't know how much or how often to fertilize. To make it easier, pick out some holidays and use them to prompt you. For cool-season lawns, Easter, Memorial Day, and Halloween are good choices. Labor Day and the Fourth of July work well for warm-season lawns.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Mostly moss

    Moss is difficult to get rid of. Chemical controls aren't very effective, and physical methods, such as raking or hoeing, don't often get the job done. If moss is a problem, turfgrass isn't the best choice for the location. If your lawn receives less than three to four hours of direct sun daily, choose a shade-adapted ground cover or a mixture of shady perennials and mulches. Or, just go with it and raise a moss garden!

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Disease disaster

    Diseases produce dead spots and pockmarked scars. The best solution is to water only in early-morning hours to discourage diseases. If you suspect a lawn disease, check with your garden center about disease-resistant cultivars or call a Master Gardener (available through your county Extension service) for help.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Shady situations

    Grasses are full-sun plants. If your grass gets four or five hours of sun, consider shade-adapted species such as fine fescue, turf-type tall fescue, St. Augustine grass (pictured here), or centipedegrass. If it's less than four hours, forget about it and plant shade-loving perennials or ground covers.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Creeping crabgrass

    Ugly, wide-blade grass plants are usually crabgrass. Try to keep the lawn thick and green to naturally shade out crabgrass seedlings. As soil temperatures warm to 55° F., apply a preemergent herbicide such as pendimethalin. Consider a second application six weeks after the first.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Greedy grubs

    Substantial dead spots in the lawn often are caused by grubs. Thanks to new products, grubs are easier to control than a decade ago. The key is to identify which species of grub you've got. Apply an appropriate insecticide about three weeks prior to egg hatch.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
  • Common compaction

    When soil particles get smashed from heavy traffic, the grass roots no longer have access to adequate air space for good growth. Clay soils are more prone to compaction than sandy soils, but any lawn can be compacted. A common symptom is water puddling after a rainfall. Aerate the lawn when conditions are favorable for growth. After aeration, consider top-dressing with dry compost to create a more favorable growing medium for the roots.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: June 7, 2013
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