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Top 5 Tips For a Healthier Looking Lawn

Top 5 Tips for a Healthier Looking Lawn
Everyone dreams of owning a lush green lawn, but the work involved can seem daunting. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be that way. These five tips will help you have a yard you can be proud of.

Occasionally Soak Your Lawn
Grass needs water to grow, but too much can cause your grass to drown and encourage fungus to grow. Focus on giving it a few good soaks throughout the week rather than a daily sprinkling. This will ensure your lawn receives enough water to penetrate the soil and encourage healthy root growth. Generally speaking, one inch of water two or three times a week will be sufficient.

Don’t Cut Too Low
It can be tempting to mow your lawn very short, but your grass needs some of that extra height to protect its roots and to hide the sun from potential weeds. A good rule of thumb is to cut off about one third of the grass blade. Also make sure the blade on your mower is kept sharp. This will prevent tearing which can cause yellowing and disease.

Fertilize Regularly
For most lawns, a slow-release fertilizer will do well. It works by releasing the nutrients over time and can be applied less often throughout the year. You can choose to apply it with either a broadcast or a drop spreader, but it’s easier to spread the fertilizer evenly using a broadcast spreader. Your first application should take place around the middle of April when the weather starts getting warm. Continue fertilizing every six to eight weeks through fall.

Aerate the Soil
Grass roots need room to grow, and aerating helps with that. It works by pulling plugs of dirt throughout your lawn, and can easily be done by renting a gas-powered aerator. The small holes this creates allow water and nutrients to reach the roots more easily. Aerating is particularly important if your yard receives a lot of foot traffic since grass has difficulty growing in compacted dirt. Both spring and fall are good times to aerate.

Stop Weeds Immediately
With weeds, prevention is the best cure. The best thing you can do is keep your lawn green and healthy. The thick grass will crowd weeds out while blocking the sun from reaching any unwanted seeds. A coating of pre-emergent herbicide in the spring provides an additional layer of protection against crabgrass and other grassy invaders.

If weeds do show up, try to catch them early while they’re easy to remove. The most straightforward removal method is simply pulling them out. Make sure you get as much of the root as possible so they can’t grow back in. If you have a more wide-spread invasion, you might prefer to use herbicide. Try to identify which type of weed you’re dealing with so you can buy a specialized herbicide and keep your grass safe.

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Why Regular Mowing is Important for Yard Health

Mowing the yard is one of the major chores of home ownership. Even though it might be time consuming and requires a good deal of physical effort, most homeowners are willing to mow their yards. Why? Generally, because they know that it's the one thing that will keep their yard from resembling a small jungle. What few realize, though, is that mowing one's yard is also the best way to make sure that the yard remains healthy. Mowing your yard is not only a good way to make sure your grass is strong, but the best way to make sure that it gets all the nutrients it needs.

Survival of the Fittest
Mowing your grass might seem like a minor thing to you, but it's a huge deal to the grass. The smell of freshly cut grass, after all, is a distress signal. You are waging war on your yard, one that the grass simply cannot win. You are, in a method of speaking, subjecting your grass to incredibly evolutionary pressures. When you take your mower down a strip of grass, you are separating the weak from the strong. Every mow through your yard destroys the grass that just can't quite survive the trauma of being cut. What your mowing leaves behind, though, is stronger grass. Grass that can survive this trauma is stronger, healthier, and looks better. Your mowing is a fantastic mechanism for making sure that only the healthiest grass is around to get the nutrients it needs to survive. Weak grass will die while stronger grass lives, allowing you to rest secure in the knowledge that your grass will be heartier and able to survive longer when it is exposed to true danger. If you don't mow often enough, you won't be able to reap the benefits of having a strong and healthy lawn.

Leveling the Playing Field
Of course, it's not enough that you make sure only the hardiest grass survives through the mowing process. Once you're done, you want to make sure all of that grass is actually able to thrive and grow. The goal is to make sure that your grass continues to have all the resources it needs to make it through the next culling, allowing you to continue the cycle of creating the healthiest yard possible. Fortunately, mowing gives you a rare chance to make sure that all of your grass is given a chance to thrive. When you mow your grass, you reduce everything to an equal height. This means that all of your grass is equidistant from the sun and that it will not cast a shadow on the grass around it. As such, all of your grass is better able to process sunlight. Grass at a uniform height is also better able to process water equally, allowing for all of your grass to remain healthy. If your grass is not at a uniform height, only the larger plants will get what they need. If you want your grass to stay healthy, then, you must keep it mowed.

Mowing your grass isn't just about aesthetics. It helps to make sure your grass is strong, healthy, and that it gets the nutrients necessary to stay green. Don't just look at your mowing time as a chore to keep your yard looking nice - look at it as a very real gardening project. The more you care for your lawn, the better it will look and the longer it will last. Treat your lawn with the care that it deserves and make sure to keep it mowed regularly.