As a homeowner, you want your home and yard to look great from all angles. Nothing screams curb appeal like a healthy lawn full of thick, green grass. While maintaining the perfect lawn may seem like a job for the pros, a few simple tricks can help you get - and keep - a lush lawn year-round. Here are 5 simple tips to maintain your lawn. Feed Your Lawn Like any organism, lawns need proper nutrients to thrive. For a healthy, green lawn that makes you the talk of the neighborhood, apply a quality fertilizer at least 4-5 times per year. It takes six to eight weeks for nutrients to take hold, so be sure to apply your fertilizer at regular intervals. A good tip is to avoid fertilizing dormant grass. Wait until after a period of heavy rainfall when your grass has had a chance to revive before applying fertilizer. The best results (and least effort) come from a slow-release fertilizer that keeps your lawn fed for weeks at a time. Overseed Your Lawn Applying new seeds to an existing lawn, a process known as overseeding keeps it thick, healthy and free of those troubling bare spots. While many homeowners only reseed when the lawn looks spotty, yearly overseeding keeps your lawn from thinning and helps it stay green and healthy during the winter. The key to overseeding is timing. To combat thinning, seeding is best done during the spring and early summer when they enter active growth. To improve your lawn’s appearance during the winter, overseed during the early fall. Before overseeding, you’ll need to prepare your lawn. Cut the grass at a low setting and rake the soil to remove compaction or thatch and prepare it for seeding. Be sure to choose a quality grass that’s appropriate for our southern climate, and use a professional seed spreader from your local home improvement store to ensure an even layer. Mow Properly The average homeowners mow their lawn over 30 times per year. But the way you mow your lawn is just as important as how often! The key is to never scalp your lawn. While it’s tempting to cut the grass as short as possible to reduce how often you mow, cutting your lawn too short contributes to thatch and shocks the delicate blades and systems underneath. Only mow the top ⅓ of your lawn and aim to mow when the grass reaches a length of 3 inches. One simple way to do this is to simply cut with your mower blade on the highest possible setting. Another mowing tip is to alternate your mowing lines at 45-90 degree angles each time you mow. This will help prevent compaction and thatch issues that come from repeated cuttings. Finally, be sure to keep your lawnmower blades sharp. Dull blades chop at grass rather than cutting it cleanly, making it more susceptible to disease and decay. Aerate Your Lawn That beautifully maintained lawn provides a great space for kids and pets to play, but all of that walking across your grass can lead to compaction. Aerating your lawn removes compacted pockets of soil, giving healthy grass more room to breathe and grow. It also allows fertilizers and weed killers to penetrate deeper into the soil, improving their efficiency. Aerators can be rented from most local home improvement stores and are easy to use. They essentially poke holes about 3 inches deep, removing hardened and compacted areas of soil. For smaller lawns, there are also handheld aerators that are less expensive (but more time consuming). The best time to aerate your lawn is during the fall when soil temperatures have cooled. Water Deeply and Less Often Many homeowners turn on their sprinklers for a few minutes every day, assuming their grass needs as much water as possible. While a healthy lawn does need an appropriate amount of water to thrive, a few sessions of watering deeply is much more beneficial than daily sprinkles. Ideally, your grass needs 1 to 2 inches of water once per week. Giving your grass a healthy dose of water less frequently will encourage deeper root growth and keep it moist and green during periods of drought. If you aren’t sure what your sprinkler output is, place a few shallow pans across your lawn and time how long it takes to fill all of them to 1 inch. This will also show if your sprinklers are watering evenly. The best time to water your lawn is in the morning. The cooler temperatures during the morning hours cut down on evaporation and let your grass soak in as much water as possible. It also gives your lawn ample time to dry during the day, and lawns that stay wet overnight are more prone to fungus. Need help staying on top of your lawn maintenance? Giving you a healthy, vibrant lawn is our specialty ! From nutrient control to regular mowing and more, we can give you a well-maintained lawn without the work. Call us today!