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Searching For Greener Pastures: Three Steps To A Flawless Lawn

Many homeowners take tremendous pride in their landscaping and their yard. They want to have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. Having a pristine emerald green lawn takes a lot of effort, though. Here are three steps to getting perfect turf.

Mow Frequently

Some people set their lawnmower to a low height, thinking then they won't have to mow it as often. While that may be true, scalping your lawn puts it at risk. Super short grass is more likely to show signs of distress, like scorch from the sun. It can also suffer stress from summer drought. Taller grass helps to keep the weeds at bay better, and it also develops a deeper root system, which helps protect it from disease and pests. Keep your grass longer, and mow more often if you need to.

Fertilize Your Lawn

Hire a lawn spraying service to come and spray with an organic or synthetic fertilizer. Your lawn should be fed in early spring, late spring, and autumn. Fertilizer is comprised of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the primary nutrients needed for a healthy lawn.

The exact amounts needed can vary by lawn and season. Too much of any one nutrient can backfire. For example, too much nitrogen can burn the grass, whereas too much phosphorous can cause water pollution and algae bloom from runoff. While you can spray yourself, many people find it easier to just hire an expert who knows what the right "recipe" for your situation is.

You can also opt for organic lawn fertilizer, which is comprised of organic plant and animal matter. This typically takes longer to see results as the fertilizer is released slowly, but over time, it may be the better option, especially if you live near water or have a stream or pond on your property.

Aerate Your Lawn

If your lawn is heavily used, such as by children playing; stems from sod rather than seed, such as is common in new construction; or has a thick layer of thatch and becomes dry quickly, you may need to have your yard aerated. Under these conditions, soil can become compacted, which makes it harder for fertilizer, water, and nutrients to penetrate to the root system.

The ideal method for aerating involves removing small plugs of grass, creating half-inch diameter holes two or three inches deep every few inches apart. While you can rent a machine and do this yourself, it is easier to have professional do it for you. Aerating should be done in early spring before the first fertilizer application and possibly again in the fall before the last fertilization application of the year. 

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