Residential Lawn Care Know-How: The Seven Basic Steps

residential lawn careLooking after your own yard appeals on so many levels: pride, satisfaction, outdoor time, and exercise. Doing it the right way and seeing your grass looking lush and green will add so much to your enjoyment. Follow these seven basic steps for residential lawn care.

Mowing: It's best for your grass to be 2 to 3 inches high, and to avoid cutting more than a third of it at any one time. This makes for strong roots that dig down deep. It also saves you on watering when the roots can reach down further for water. Leave clippings on your lawn to add an easy source of nutrients. Work up and down once with your lawn mower, and then back and forth the next. This keeps the blades growing upright. Proper mowing is the first step in learning residential lawn care.

Watering: Avoid frequent watering for the best root growth. Instead, water less often, but do it deeply. About an inch of water will soak the turf perfectly. You can use empty cans to measure how your sprinkler is doing. Check the soil with a probe to see when it needs water, or if you notice footprints remaining on the grass, that's a sign that it needs water. Residential lawn care is all about proper watering.

Feeding: Besides leaving clippings, you'll want to add food. Having too much or too little nitrogen is very bad for your yard. A soil test will help you here. Three feedings a year--in spring, summer and fall--with a fertilizer made for those seasons is the best way to go.

Weeding: This can be done by hand, of course, and a healthy turf is good at fighting off weeds. Using a preemergent herbicide will go a long way to prevent unwanted plants from infesting your lawn.

Raking: This is crucial for residential lawn care. Fallen leaves starve the grass of light and air, making way for fungus and mold. Don't just pet the lawn with your rake, but don't rake so hard you're pulling the grass out by the roots. This will prevent thatch build-up, which left unchecked, will strangle your grass.

Aerating: This too keeps down thatch, and improves drainage and soil quality. You can do this either by coring or using a liquid aerator. The roots will appreciate the improvements and will also have better access to water and nutrients. Residential lawn care isn't just about the surface, it's about what's going on underneath too.

Overseeding: Hit bare patches right away with seed. If your turf is thinning, overseeding the whole area will bring it back to its former glory. Take the time to prep the ground, and change your watering to keep the ground from drying out on the surface.

Get out there and enjoy your yard. Having the know-how to mow, water, and feed the right way is a great start. Taking care of weeds, leaves, bare areas, and soil drainage will pay off in a great looking turf. Residential lawn care is enjoyable when it pays off by giving you a great looking yard.

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