Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lawn Maintenance Tips

Lawn Maintenance Tips

These easy maintenance tips will provide you with a beautiful lawn without the back breaking work! You will never have to rake your lawn again.

The mistake most people make when it comes to lawn care is that they mow their grass too often and too short. For optimum grass health try to maintain a longer length. Grass that is maintained at a length of 3 to 3-1/2 inches will retain its moisture and color. Because it can retain its moisture the lawn won't require as much watering during peak summer months.

When cutting your grass, always make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp. A dull blade will rip the grass out by its roots. A dull blade can also tear the individual leaves of grass and cause it to disease and die. If your grass is turning brown after you've mowed it, chances are you have a dull blade. The lawn mower blade can be removed easily with a ratchet, and any hardware store will sharpen it for you for less than $10.

When mowing the grass, never cut off more than ¾ of an inch at a time. This will leave you with shorter clippings. It is better to leave what clippings there are on the lawn, do not rake them up. The clippings will break down quickly and feed your lawn.

Mulch your clippings, without having to purchase a special mulching lawn mower. Simply keep your lawn mower aimed in the same direction for the entire duration of cutting the grass. The lawn mower will cut the clippings from the last row mowed when you continue a frontward then backward pattern without actually turning the mower around. This method of lawn mowing will automatically mulch your clippings. When you are done mowing it will appear that someone magically raked up the clippings for you.

Try to vary the direction you mow each time. For example this week mow in north and south rows. Then next week mow in east and west rows.

The last step to having a great lawn is fertilization. The easiest and most inexpensive way to fertilize is to use a lawn spreader. There are several different models on the market today. If your lawn is fairly large, half an acre or more, then using a broadcast spreader is best. For lawns smaller than half an acre, a drop spreader is recommended.

Each lawn spreader comes with its own set of manufacturer's directions. It is best to follow the directions that come with whatever model spreader you choose that suits your lawn's needs. Note: it is extremely important that your lawn spreader has the correct setting on it for whatever mix you are using. Too much fertilizer can kill or burn your grass. Follow all directions carefully!

In spring its best to use a mix in your spreader called weed and feed. This mix will nourish your grass and prevent weeds from growing before they start. In summer you can fertilize again with a mix that feeds the grass, kills the weeds and 'greens' up the grass. If you have a problem with pests, such as mosquitoes or fleas, there are mixes with added pesticides that work very well and will not hurt your pets or children if used as directed.

The next best time to feed your lawn is in the fall. There is a winter feed mix that you add to your spreader that will give your grass some nourishment until spring arrives.

Many people opt to have their lawn treated professionally, however using a spreader and doing it yourself is not only easy but will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Following these easy tips will improve your lawn, save you time and your back too!

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