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How to Take Care of Your Lawn

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How to Take Care of Your Lawn

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Overview

A lush green lawn is the goal of many homeowners. In addition to being the pride of the neighborhood, families enjoy playing games, hosting barbecues and picnics, and relaxing on their lawns. Before the homeowner can enjoy the space, however, much work must be done to grow and maintain a healthy lawn.

Step 1

Mow your lawn frequently. For best results, you should cut about one third of the height of the grass. Depending on your climate and the amount of rainfall, you will need to mow at least once per week.

Step 2

Leave the clippings on the grass after mowing. Short clippings decompose quickly and act as compost, which enriches the soil and benefits the lawn. Clippings add nitrogen and improve soil structure.

Step 3

Water your lawn in the early morning hours, especially during hot summer months. Water is wasted when it evaporates in hot weather. Some homeowners prefer to water frequently for short amounts of time. Others prefer to water for 45 minutes or more just a few times per week. Choose the method that works best for you based on your climate and available water resources.

Step 4

Fertilize carefully. Never apply too much fertilizer at once. Slow release fertilizer with a high nitrogen content works best. You may also use natural fertilizer such as manure.

Step 5

Apply weed killer with discretion. Many of the chemicals used in weed killers are damaging to the environment and the water table. Eradicate weeds by hand, or by using a tool such as the dandelion popper.

Step 6

Eradicate pests using organic pesticide. If you have small children playing on your lawn, or are concerned about tracking lawn chemicals into your home, organic pesticides may be the answer for you. Apply pesticide according to package directions. Begin with the lowest amount suggested and apply more when necessary.

Step 7

Aerate your lawn in the spring so that fertilizer and other nutrients can reach the root system. You may do this yourself using an aerating tool or even by walking across the lawn wearing golf shoes or other shoes with cleats.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water your lawn. Overwatering causes a weak root system and will make your lawn unhealthy. Keep off your grass for 24 to 48 hours after applying any chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose or sprinklers
  • Lawnmower
  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticide
  • Weed killer
  • Dandelion popper
  • Aerating tool

References

  • National Gardening Association: Lawns 101
Keywords: grass, lawn, yard work

About this Author

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.