Lawn Care Tips

August View More Summer Tips

Improving Acidic Soil

Most native soils in the eastern United States are naturally acidic. Alaska, Hawaii and parts of the Pacific Northwest tend towards acidic soil as well. Acidic soil is a good environment for thatch, weeds and diseases and also reduces the effectiveness of your fertilizer or herbicide.

Garden lime, or limestone, is the soil amendment usually recommended for reducing soil acidity. Lime also is a natural source of calcium and magnesium—elements necessary for healthy plant growth. Correction of an overly-acidic soil is a long-term project that takes time to complete. Fall is the best time to apply garden lime, but it can be applied any time of year.

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June Week 2 View More Summer Tips

Water Wisely

• Lawns need at least one inch of water per week, and more when the heat is severe. Use a rain gauge or straight-sided can to keep track of the amount of water received from rainfall and irrigation. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage drought-tolerant roots. Water early in the day to reduce evaporation and fungal growth.

• Either water your lawn regularly and deeply, or don’t water at all. Don’t let your lawn go brown and dormant, then try to “water it back to life.” If your lawn goes dormant in summer, it should stay that way until fall – don’t worry, it should recover once the weather changes.

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June Week 1 View More Summer Tips

Mowing Tips

• Raise your mower blade in the summer. Taller grass is more drought-tolerant, grows deeper roots, and helps shade the earth to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Cool-season grasses should be mowed at 3”- 4” during the summer, or as high as your blade will go, while warm-season grasses should be mowed at 2”- 3”.

• Keep mower blades sharp. Make sure your mower is cutting your grass, not tearing it, to minimize stress during hot temperatures. Mulching grass clippings helps keep moisture levels steady.

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May Week 4 View More Spring Tips

Weed Control

Small patches of weeds can be handled by pulling or digging. All-over lawn weed control is usually not necessary either, as a heavy infestation would be better handled by making the grass healthy. However, for those in-between situations, you may want to consider the use of a chemical or organic herbicide.

• Post-Emergent herbicides work by killing growing plants, usually by interrupting chemical processes such as photosynthesis, protein production, or root growth. They are best applied when the plant is actively growing and in the fall when plants are storing up nutrients in their roots. This allows the herbicide to be quickly sucked down into the roots where it is most effective. Post-emergent herbicides can work on contact (killing only the vegetation they touch) or systemic (absorbing into and killing the entire plant).

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