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5 Ways To Cultivate a Beautiful, Lush and Healthy Lawn

A groomed and maintained lawn serves as your family's playground and year-round oasis. A healthy lawn can also improve your property's curb appeal. To help boost the health of your grass and soil, here are five areas to focus on as you care for your lawn.

Sprinkler watering the grass.

Mow Correctly

The right mowing technique can keep your grass healthy and beautiful all season. The following are a few tips on mowing techniques.

Start by adjusting the cutting height. For the first and last mow of the season, aim for a 1.5-inch cutting height for cool-climate grasses and 1 inch for warm-climate grasses. The shorter height at the beginning of the growing season allows more sunlight to reach all the grass blades, and it removes dead grass, leaves and other debris left over from last season. Raise the mower two inches in the middle of the season.

Next, mow only the top one-third of your lawn. This technique protects the grass roots from sunlight burn. Also, the thin and leafy top portion of grass blades decomposes quickly, slows water evaporation, prevents weed germination, and turns into valuable nitrogen.

At least three times a season, inspect and sharpen the mower blade. A dull blade damages the grass and makes it more susceptible to disease, dehydration and yellowing.

Water Deeply

The majority of grass types need one inch of water per week, so give your lawn the drink it needs. Note that sandy soils may require more water, and clay soil usually needs less water.

Early morning is the best time to water grass. With this strategy, you give your grass time to drink before the hot temperatures cause evaporation. Morning watering also reduces overnight dampness that can cause mold and fungi growth.

To avoid over or under watering, wait until your lawn actually needs a drink. Look for signs of thirst like wilting, color fading and loss of bounce or resilience.

Weed Carefully

Weeds of any type, shape and size affect the health of your grass. Protect your lawn with careful weed prevention and treatment.

Pull or kill unwanted plants in the early spring and summer before they reproduce or develop deep root systems. When pulling weeds, grab the plant as close to the root as possible. Wait to weed when the soil is damp to make the job easier and more effective.

Fertilize Properly

The right fertilizer prompts your grass to grow thick and lush. Choose a fertilizer based on factors such as your geographic location, soil quality and the type of grass you grow.

In general, you can apply fertilizer all season. The first application in the early spring nurtures root development. The last feeding in the fall repairs summer damage and prompts growth that helps your grass survive the winter. Light feedings throughout the summer equip your lawn to maintain its healthy growth.

Rake and Aerate Regularly

Nurture the soil where the grass roots grow when you rake and aerate your lawn regularly.

Raking removes thatch. Thatch is a layer of dead plant material that prevents water and nutrients from penetrating the roots and soil. Remove the thatch when it becomes deeper than one-half inch.

Aerating is a process that removes small plugs of soil and thatch and exposes your grass's roots to life-giving water, oxygen and nutrients. For the best results, aerate throughout the summer and in the fall with a manual or gas-powered aerator tool or aerator shoes.

Cultivate a Healthy Lawn

With these five tips and some TLC, you can cultivate a beautiful, lush and healthy lawn. Take the next step and protect your lawn and property by contacting your local independent insurance agent.

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