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Lawn Tips for Easier Maintenance and Greener Grass

Apr 15, 2008
I grew up in the suburbs -- where people take pride in their lawns. Such pride, that I once witnessed a fist-fight between neighbors that started over a lawn related issue (or maybe it was just an ego issue).

My parents loved their lawn. When I think about it, I imagine that they just loved grass. My parents watched golf on television only to comment and critic on the condition of the course's greens. I'm serious -- and I'm not over-stating when I claim my family had the nicest yard and lawn in our sub-division.

The thing that sticks out in my head about my parent's lawn care is how much simpler than it was in comparison to our neighbors. Many folks had expensive automatic sprinkler systems. My parents watered the yard with a $10 sprinkler or simply with the hose. The fact is, that simple is often better when it comes to lawn care. Check out my easy to follow tips which will keep your lawn happy and green:

Don't Over-Water / Use a Rain Gauge - Over-watering is one of the most common lawn problems. Too much water causes much more damage than under-watering does -- this is because most varieties of turf handle short droughts fine, but can be wrecked with flooding. Brown patches (commonly a fungal infection) on the lawn can often be attributed over-watering.

Most grass requires about 1 - 1.5 inches of water per week to optimally provide moisture for healthy lawns. Use a rain gauge (available at gardening centers) to keep tabs on how much rain your lawn is getting and supplement weekly with your sprinkler.

Mowing Tips

The height at which you cut your lawn is important. In the summer a 3-4 inch height is best, and in the spring/fall opt for a 2- 3 inch height. The last mow of the season should be around 1.5 inches.

The condition of your lawn mower is also very important. A dull blade rips grass and leaves it more vulnerable to pests and disease. You can check to see if your mowers blade needs sharpening by observing grass it has cut. If the grass appears torn or ripped, then it is time to get your blade sharpened. Most consumer lawn-mowers should get their blades sharpened twice a year.

Change the mowing direction of the cut each time to keep coarse grasses under control and ensure an even surface.

Additionally, leaving the clippings on your lawn after a mow. The clipping decompose and provide excellent and needed nutrients to the soil. By doing this you do not need to use as much fertilizer on your lawn.


Over-feeding is another common problem for lawns. Your lawn most likely requires only 4 feedings a year: Spring, Summer, Early Fall, and after First Frost. The fall feeding is vital -- but if you are in drought conditions you may want to skip the summer feeding.

Read the label completely and follow the directions exactly when using store-bought fertilizer. You'll get the best results by following the label -- remember more is not better.

Use half of the fertilizer in one direction of your lawn (like right-left) and the other half in the other direction (up-down), to avoid streaking and spots.

Other Maintenance

Aerate lawns once a year, optimally in the fall with soil temperature around 60F. This will help prevent thatch and increase the amount of nutrients getting to the soil. High-traffic areas become compacted over time and aeration is especially important for these spots.

There you have my basic tips to keep a healthy enough lawn to make you want to defend it with your fists. Congrats.
About the Author
At HobbyLawnCare.com, Lawn Care and weed control is our passion. Check out our tips and tricks today!
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