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8 easy tips for the perfect lawn

A soft, green lawn is a wonderful thing, and it does not have to be out of reach. Here is some simple advice for keeping a terrific turf.

1. Prevent weeds before they come up

Stop weeds from gaining a root-hold 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.

2. Eliminate broad leaf weeds as soon as they show up

Broad leaf 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. To properly have your weeds removed consult with one of our agents today.

3. 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.

4. Keep your mowing blade sharp

A dull blade tears the grass, resulting in a ragged edge that makes the overall lawn look grayish brown. Sharpen or replace the mower blade when it shows signs of wear, or at least once a mowing season.

5. 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 longer periods. Wetting down the grass isn't watering the grass. You need to soak the lawn so the soil moisture goes down several inches.

6. 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, and 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.

7. Spot-train your pet

If you have a pet that spends any time in your lawn, it will show. Large yellow and dead spots will be what gives your lawn away. The nitrogen in the pet urine is culprit. Encourage your pet to use just one spot in the lawn. Make that area gravel or mulch so they can handle their business without spotting the lawn. Yard-train your pet just like you house-train them.

8. Reseed sparse lawns

If you 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.

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