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lawn_7_15_homespunRISMEDIA, July 15, 2009-With record low mortgage rates, expanded FHA loans and tax credit incentives, many Americans have plunged into first-time home ownership. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that first-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of existing home sales in the last month. But while taking advantage of the current incentives, many first-time buyers don’t think of everything that comes along with home ownership – including how to take care of their yard so they remain rightfully proud of their new castle.

Briggs & Stratton Corp., a leading manufacturer of lawn mower engines, offers these lawn care tips for even the most challenged green thumb.

Choose the right mower.
Purchase a mower with a quality engine. Elements to consider are torque, emissions and ease in starting. Briggs & Stratton engines are found in eight of the top 10 selling lawn mowers brands. To understand more about why engines make a difference, visit www.enginesmatter.com.

Never cut more than one-third of the grass blade during any one mowing.
By following this rule, the remaining two-thirds of the plant will develop deep roots and spread out, eventually creating a dense, healthy turf. Using this technique, of course, means shorter intervals between mowings during high growth times, but a healthy lawn is the best medicine for preventing weeds and disease.

Alternate your mowing pattern.
Try not to follow the same path each time you mow. Think of a clock. Start at the 12 o’clock position and mow to the 6 o’clock position. The next time you mow, begin at the 9 o’clock position and mow to the to 3 o’clock position. The third time, mow from 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock, etc. Changing the mowing pattern every time you mow will keep the turf and soil from compacting and prevent wheel patterns in your lawn.

Water early in the day.
Watering between 4 and 9 a.m. helps ensure that the sun won’t rob moisture from your lawn. It also gives your lawn the best chance to dry in the morning. Wet grass at night can lead to disease. Most lawns need about 1-2 inches of water a week to stay healthy.

Avoid a fertilizer overdose.
Even good medicine causes harm when used improperly, so avoid doubling the recommended rates of fertilizer as well as seed, herbicide, insecticide, etc. One pound of water-soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is the maximum amount established lawns should receive at one time.

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