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Green Living

An easy spring guide to a green, weed-free lawn

(BPT) - The rich green color, the soft feel beneath your feet and the iconic fresh-cut smell — thriving grass enhances your property in countless ways. Spring is the ideal time to focus on your lawn, so by taking steps now, you can enjoy lush, green grass for many months to come.

These four areas will help you focus your efforts where they will make the biggest impact.

Equipment prep

The first step to a successful spring lawn-care routine is to properly prepare equipment. After sitting in storage during the cool months, equipment may need a tuneup or replacement.

The lawn mower is your go-to piece of equipment. If it's gas-powered, make sure fuel hasn't gone bad by starting it up and letting it run for a while. Add fresh fuel as needed. Additionally, consider bringing your mower in for a tuneup. For a modest fee, a trained mechanic will go over all the mower components and make sure everything is in tip-top shape, including blade sharpening so your mower can cut efficiently.

Lawn trimmers are another popular tool for maintaining a yard. Again, start this piece of equipment up and see how well it runs. Add fresh line to the trimmer head so you get a clean cut. Finally, gather all other lawn-care tools and designate a convenient spot in the garage or shed to store them for easy access.

Mowing advice

A great-looking, weed-free lawn requires proper mowing. Experts agree you should mow as soon as the grass starts to grow to remove any brown tips and encourage healthy growth.

Keep the grass mowed to 3-4 inches tall. At that height, grass shades out weeds, develops deeper roots and cools the soil. Some grasses — such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescues and perennial rye grass — grow faster in cool weather. That means you mow more frequently in spring and early summer to keep it in the 3-4 inch range, and less frequently in mid to late summer and into fall.

Want an insider tip to a great lawn? Leave clippings on the grass. As they break down, they return important trace nutrients to the soil. If the grass is tall when mowed, spread out any large, heavy clumps so the clippings don’t smother the lawn.

Essential treatments

Seek out combination lawn-care products to get better results with less work. For example, just one application of Preen One Lawncare provides three treatments, so you save time while laying the foundation for a thick, green, weed-free lawn.

First, the application prevents crabgrass seeds from sprouting and — unlike traditional weed and feed products — also kills crabgrass seedlings up to 4 weeks after germination. Second, it kills dandelions plus 250 types of tough broadleaf lawn weeds on contact, down to the roots. Finally, it feeds the lawn continuously with a slow-release 20-0-6 formula that promotes even greening and strong roots for maximum heat and drought resistance.

Preen One Lawncare is recommended for many popular cool-season and warm-season grasses. Learn more at https://one.preen.com.

Watering guidelines

Once your lawn starts growing, water becomes an essential component for it to thrive. A healthy lawn needs about an inch of water per week to stay strong. This can be a combination of rainwater and water you apply yourself. To reach the entire root structure, water should soak the soil 6 to 8 inches deep.

The morning is the best time to water grass. Temperatures and winds are typically lower in the morning, which means less evaporation. Strive to water grass before 10 a.m., but if you must do so later, wait until after 4 p.m., when the sun is less intense.

How do you know the amount of water your lawn is getting? Invest in a rain gauge to monitor precipitation. When using a sprinkler, set out a few empty tin cans in different places to measure water application. Unsure if you need to water? Try the footprinting test. Walk across your lawn and if your footprints are still visible after 30 seconds, it's time to water. Healthy, well-watered grass will stand back up quickly after you walk on it.

Set the stage for great grass this spring with these four easy tasks. A little effort now will ensure a lush lawn through summer and beyond.

 
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