Twelve Tips for a Better Lawn
IMPROVE THE SOIL
1.) Don’t apply lime (unless your soil tests acidic)
- In areas with heavy rainfall, minerals tend to be leached out of the soil. If you live in one of these areas then you would want to lime your lawn once a year.
- When: September – October.
- With what: Lilly/Miller® Soil Sweet (dolomite lime with magnesium, 40 lbs. covers 1,000 sq. ft.) or Super Sweet (granular lime, 25 lbs. covers 2,000 sq. ft.)
- Why: Sweetens acidic soil; gets the full value out of your fertilizer investment; helps prevent moss invasion; improves water drainage through clay soil.
- When: Once a year in March or September.
- With what: Core-aerator that removes thin, cigar shaped plugs.
- Why: Improves drainage; helps prevent diseases; makes more air spaces for healthy root growth so lawn gets thicker.
- In the spring, turf needs N for top-growth. In the fall, turf needs enough N to store energy for spring green-up plus lots of K for root growth. Low-maintenance lawns can be fertilized twice a year. High-maintenance lawns should be fertilized four to five times a year.
- When: Half from September – November, and half from April – June.
- With what: Spring: High N fertilizer like Lilly/Miller® Super Rich High Performance Lawn Food 26-3-5. Fall: High K fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ration of N-P-K, like Lilly/Miller® Super Rich Fall & Winter Care 14-4-8.
- Why: Thickens lawn so moss and weeds can’t invade; promotes deep rooting so lawns look good in summer with less water; helps prevent red thread disease.
4.) “Grasscycle” grass clippings
- Clippings provide 1/3 of yearly N needs. Clippings don’t contribute to thatch build-up — that’s caused by dead roots and stems. Set mower to cut to 2 inches. Mow when the lawn reaches 3 inches — then cut away 1 inch.
- When: March – September.
- With what: Mulching mower, or bagging mower with side-discharge chute installed.
- Why: Keeps yard waste out of landfill; saves money on fertilizer; mowing goes faster without bags to empty.
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