4 steps to a perfect lawn
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Image by Rusty Z3[/caption]
1) Start at the right time with the right products.
In early spring (early march in the south, late march in the north) apply gypsum with a spreader if you had snow piled up on your lawn during the winter. This will help loosen the soil to allow for water penetration.
2) Start the healthy growing process.
After the second mowing, add a slow release nitrogen fertilizer such as (chicken manure) and follow up fifteen days later with a soil conditioner. Finally, continue mowing, not taking off more than 1/3 each time, and ensure that the lawn is getting at least 3/8 in. (1/2 in. when temp is above 80 F.) of an inch of water 3 times a week. Finally, in mid-May, apply a second treatment of fertilizer.
3) Now that your grass looks good, it's time to make it look great.
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Image by lestaret[/caption]
It's all about bending. The iconic look of Wrigley Field is easier to achieve than what most people think. The key is not the direction or height of the mower, but the amount of bend put into the grass. Bending the grass makes the blades that lean away look lighter as they receive more light than their counter parts that lean toward you. While old fashion mowers typically have a roller attached, current mowers do not. This can be solved in numerous ways. You could buy a roller attachment from a local gardening center, or make one for yourself in a few different fashions. One way is to attach dumbbells (like the ones collecting dust in the garage) to the flap on the back of your mower using duct tape. The key is to ensure equal dispersion over the whole flap. Another is making your own roller with some PVC and sand (instructions here) that will probably give the best results for the DIY.Now that the roller is complete, its time to complete the look. The biggest key to making your yard look like a million bucks is straight lines. First, mow the perimeter of your yard to allow room to turn around. Next pick a direction to mow either North/South or East/West and stick to it. Finally, do one more lap around the perimeter to tidy up the area. If you are looking for a checkered pattern instead, follow the above steps, but change direction and do a second pass of the whole yard. For instance, if you started North/South, mow East/West once the lines are achieved.
4) Keep it healthy through the winter.
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The Family Handyman[/caption]
In early to mid September apply soil activator like you did in the spring, followed 2 weeks later with a winter fertilizer. This is the time that you can cut the grass short, but must continue to mow until your grass stops growing in winter.
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