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5 steps to the (almost) perfect lawn

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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Dreaming of a lush, green lawn this summer? Now is the time to take action, as the grass comes to life and you can see all its glory — and imperfections! During this spring lawn care season, it’s important to restore the lawn and get ahead of the weeds!

Here’s the spring lawn care plan:

  1. Assess the problem, whether it’s bare spots, fungus or weeds. Then, determine whether a DIY lawn care program is realistic. Consider:
    –The size of the lawn and extent of the problem.
    –Your schedule. Do you have a few full days to devote to preparing the lawn, plus several hours a week for maintenance?
  2. Prepare a battle plan for the lawn prep, including:
    –aerating, which opens up compacted soil
    –de-thatching with a power rake if thatch build up is ½ inch deep or more
    –grading (if necessary) to even out the terrain. (Consider a professional on this one!)
    –reseeding all or sections of the lawn with seed made for your sun/shade conditions
    –watering new seed every day; the rest of the lawn as needed to get 1.5 inches of water per week.
  3. Make weed prevention a top priority. Those annoying creeping, vine-like weeds can spread quickly. Here’s a good weed prevention overview, plus information from Bayer Advanced about how to identify lawn weeds, such as chickweed and creeping Charlie.
  4. Be realistic, as the (almost) perfect lawn can take a few seasons (or more) to achieve.
  5. Water it right. According to the University of Illinois Extension Service:
    –Water deeply and infrequently, but enough to get 1.5 inches of water per week.
    –Avoid pesticides on drought stressed lawns.
    –Water early in the day to prevent evaporation or nighttime disease infiltration.

Lawn care and weed prevention are hard work, but well worth the effort. Start planning now and you should see some nice green grass by mid-summer!

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