RISMEDIA, April 5, 2011—A soft, green lawn is a wonderful thing. Here’s some simple advice for growing terrific turf.
Prevent weeds before they come up.
You can stop weeds from gaining a roothold in your lawn before they even germinate by using a pre-emergent herbicide. This type of product controls the dreaded crabgrass, as well as other hard-to-eliminate weeds, by stopping their seeds from sprouting in your lawn. Use a pre-emergent early in the spring.
Eliminate broadleaf weeds once they’ve sprouted.
Broadleaf weeds are the big weeds that are immediately obvious in your lawn: the bright-yellow faces of dandelions (and their scatter-in-the-wind seeds), white-flowering clover and big-leaf plantain are all pretty visible. To treat, apply granular weed-control products. If there are just a few offenders, you can remove them by hand.
Mow high and frequently.
Mowing your lawn too short may seem like a time-saver, but this can damage your grass as well as allow weeds to set root. Keeping your lawn a bit taller results in healthier grass. The general rule of thumb is: Never cut off more than a third of the grass blade.
Water in the morning.
The best time to water your lawn is the early morning because the sun will help dry the grass. Nighttime watering can result in prolonged moisture on the blades, which can open the door for some diseases. It’s better to water less often but for prolonged periods. Just wetting down the grass isn’t watering the grass. You need to soak the lawn so the soil moisture goes down several inches.
Feed your lawn.
What do lawns like to consume? Nitrogen is the most important nutrient—look for a mix of fast- and slow-release fertilizers that will green up your lawn quickly, then feed it over time. In the north, feed in fall and spring. In the south, feed in spring and summer. Don’t feed dormant grass (drought can cause grass to go dormant in summer) because it can’t take in nutrients.
Reseed sparse lawns.
If your lawn is a little thin in areas, you can seed over the area to help lush it up. Fall is the ideal time to reseed cool-season grasses. Plant warm-season grasses in late spring.
This article is excerpted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine. For more information, visit www.lowes.com.