More lawn tips from Stuart Franklin of Lawn Care Simplified, a Web site that has all the information you will ever need about how to take care of your lawn. Franklin is also the author of Building a Healthy Lawn: A Safe and Natural Approach, available through Amazon.com
1. Start the season with a sharp blade. Dull mower blades tear the grass instead of giving a nice clean cut.
2. Give the lawn a light raking to remove debris and lift up matted grass and (in the North) snow mold damage. Snow mold, a lawn disease, occurs on most Northern grasses, especially the creeping grass types. It is worse when there has been alternating snow cover and warm periods. Most snow mold will disappear by mid spring if you fluff it up a bit so air and sunlight can get to the soil. Try to stay off the lawn as much as possible if the ground is soggy.
3. Seed bare and thin areas early. You want the grass thick before the weeds start sprouting. Use the correct seed type for your area and your particular lawn.
4. Make your first short – as low as you can mow without scalping the lawn- perhaps 1 – 1 ½ inches high. Do this only when the grass is just starting to grow - not if it is already growing vigorously. This short mowing cuts away some of the dead grass left over from the previous season (if you left it too high). It also helps warm up the soil faster, stimulates growth, and allows more sunlight to reach the newly forming grass blades.
5. Gradually raise the mowing height after the first cut. Click here to visit our All About Mowing posts.
Photo credit: Scotts Miracle-Gro
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