A healthy, beautiful lawn starts with proper maintenance. Check out the following ways to keeping your lawn lush, green and the envy of the neighborhood.

STEP 1 – The Right Cut.

Regular cutting of the lawn keeps your grass thick and healthy. For each cut, try to remove only a third of the grass blade. During the hot summer months, keep the grass blades a little longer, as it endures intervals of drought better. St Augustine grass should be kept at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches. When cutting the grass, be sure use a sharp blade and change directions and patterns each time you mow, so that the grass blades aren’t pressed in the same way each time.

STEP 2 – Proper Hydration.

Water your lawn in the early a.m. when the air is cool and wind is usually at its lowest. Never water your grass at night; this is when your lawn is most vulnerable to disease and pests. A healthy lawn generally requires approx 1” of water per week. Your grass may not be getting enough water if the appearance of the grass is bluish-gray, instead of a brighter green and the older leaf blades will fold or show signs of wilting. Too much water can damage and even kill your grass by putting your lawn more at risk for disease, pest, and weed problems.

STEP 3 – Feed the Ground.

Fertilizing once or twice a year is necessary to keep your lawn healthy by replenishing the nutrients used up by your grass. If you mow regularly, be sure to leave the grass clippings to help feed the lawn by returning nitrogen to the soil. Specially formulated fertilizers typically contain different mixes of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous and should be purchased after performing a soil test in order to determine your lawn’s specific needs. Natural fertilizers are highly recommended in contrast to synthetic fertilizers, because they are safer for your family and the environment.

STEP 4 – Ditch the weeds.

Proper lawn care is critical in producing a dense turf that will prevent weed infestation. Mowing too low or too infrequently along with improper watering or fertilization will result in an invasion of weeds. Controlling pests and diseases as well as eliminating heavy foot traffic is also necessary in the fight against weeds. Pulling weeds regularly and establishing a complete lawn care program will prevent them from taking over your lawn and flower beds.

STEP 5 – Give it some air.

Aerating is the process of counteracting compacted soil by poking approx 3” holes into your lawn about 1 – 2 times per year. Aerating increases oxygen levels to your soil ultimately promoting root growth and allowing for better overall water and nutrient absorption. Aerating your lawn is also beneficial to soil organisms such as earth worms which can’t thrive in hard, compacted soil.