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House Calls: Lawn care tips – Leader

Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2014 12:00 am

House Calls: Lawn care tips

By Erin Larson House Calls contributor


For many homeowners, it is a constant battle to keep their yard looking healthy, especially during the hot summer months.

Use the following tips to help build and maintain a beautiful lawn.

Water during the early morning hours. This gives the water a chance to soak in and reach the grass roots.

Avoid watering during the heat of the day. Water will evaporate quickly during the heat and wind. Not only is it inefficient, but the water gets warm and may cause the grass to wilt.

Avoid watering late in the evening. Having a wet lawn overnight will increase the chances of weeds or a lawn disease developing.

Consider adding a rain sensor to your irrigation system. This will ensure the system is not watering while it is raining.

If you have new seed, you will need to water daily for approximately four to six weeks.

Mowing advice

Avoid mowing during the heat of the day. The hot summer sun can damage a newly exposed grass blade.

Keep your mower height set at 2 1/2- to 3-inches. When grass is cut too short it can cause brown spots in the lawn, which lead to a higher chance of weeds and disease.

Aim for mowing no more than one third of the blade. Mowing more causes the shaft to be cut and exposed, which damages the grass. Mow less of the height, more frequently.

Keep the blades on your mower sharp. A dull blade begins to shred the grass instead of cutting it.

Watering the day before you mow can help avoid the browning of the grass tips.

Alternate the direction of mowing. This will ensure the grass blades are cut and not bent over as well as prevent “rutting.”

Fertilizing methods

Use 4 pounds of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of yard over the course of the season.

Crabgrass preventer should be applied in early spring before the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees.

It is important to use a slow-release granular fertilizer to avoid surge growth. This will keep your lawn a consistent green color throughout the season while reducing the chance of burn.

Manage the pH level to get the most from nutrients. Lime is used to neutralize the soil pH. It takes adequate rates and time to receive the benefits.

Erin Larson is the lawn care coordinator at RainMaster Lawn Systems, 3445 London Road. House Calls is submitted by members of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association. If you have a question for local builders, remodelers, real estate companies, home financiers or other association members, email


Saturday, May 31, 2014 12:00 am.

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