Make your grass grow greener with these four simple lawn care strategies.
1. Stop Dehydration Before it Starts
Watch for indications that your lawn is thirsty, like grass blades that curl or turn bluish-green.
If you can make out your footprints long after you’ve walked over it, that’s a sign, too. Not sure how much water is appropriate? Experts say most lawns need an inch a week. To figure out how many minutes to leave the sprinklers on, mark off 1 inch from the bottom in a few plastic food containers or tin cans, and randomly place them on the lawn. Set a timer, then run sprinklers. When water hits the mark, you’ll know how long to irrigate in the future.
2. When Not to Water
If your town has water-use restrictions, it’s best to turn off the hose altogether sooner rather than later. A dormant lawn might look brown and dead, but it can survive by maintaining only the roots and crown for up to a month. At the four-week mark, your lawn will need a good soaking (about 5 inches; use the measuring method outlined at left) to stay alive, so keep track of your
3. Let Your Lawn Breathe
The more you use your yard, the more likely your soil is compacted—making it harder for grass to thrive. Rent an aerator from a local hardware store; prices start around $20 per hour. The tool punches small holes into the soil, allowing water and nutrients better access to grass roots. Always weed beforehand, but wait until afterward to fertilize or reseed.
4. Stay Sharp
Dull mower blades cause harm by tearing at grass blades rather than trimming them. If you have a small yard, you should get your blades tuned up annually, twice a season if you’re dealing with an acre or more. Ask about the service at your hardware store; most offer blade sharpening for about $5.