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Lawn Care 101

Lawn Care 101

GET TO KNOW YOUR SOIL

When it comes to turf, what happens above ground reflects what's going on underneath. Take advice from lawn pros and test your soil, so you know your starting point for essentials such as soil pH. Your local county extension office or agricultural agent will have information on test kits and reputable soil laboratories.

You can take accurate soil samples yourself. Include separate samples for problem spots, such as bare areas or sections with unwanted lawn moss. Let the lab know you're testing lawn areas; they can tailor recommendations to get your lawn on track for your plans.

FIX UNDERLYING ISSUES

With test results in hand, turn recommendations into projects. Correct problems now; don't risk repeats. Use soil amendments according to lab recommendations to improve your lawn's potential. Lime, for example, restores balance to soil pH so grasses can draw on available nutrients.

Hit tough spots first, and then repair bare lawn patches. The all-in-one ease of Pennington One Step Complete simplifies patching and repairs by premixing premium grass seed, professional-grade fertilizer and protective wood mulch in a single product. If your family includes pets, you're sure to have some pet damage. But don't worry; healthy lawns and happy dogs can coexist.

KNOW THE BEST GRASSES FOR YOUR REGION

Grasses suited to their growing region create exceptional lawns. Just like garden flowers or shrubs, turfgrasses vary in their climate preferences and tolerances for drought, shade and other conditions. One benefit of seed over sod is your expanded choice of grass varieties with specific qualities, from durability to texture beneath bare feet.

Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, peak in growth during cool temperatures in fall and spring. They flourish in northern zones. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass, excel in summer heat and warmer climates. Region-appropriate lawn grasses require less water and other resources, including maintenance time.

SEED RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

Whether seeding new areas, overseeding your lawn or thickening existing grass, timing is important. Plan your seeding to correspond with seasonal grass growth and the best time to plant grass. Plant seed properly, and avoid the common grass seeding mistakes many homeowners make.

Take time to understand how to read a seed tag and know who's behind the seed you buy. Many companies sell seed purchased on the open market—and the contents may surprise you. But with premium grass seed such as purebred Pennington Smart Seed, you can buy the best grass seed with confidence and enjoy a sustainable lawn and increased resistance to drought, diseases and insect pests.

FEED YOUR GRASSES WELL

Lawn grasses need proper nutrition. Nitrogen is especially important to keep your lawn lush, vibrant and green. Your soil test results will recommend how many pounds of nitrogen your lawn needs annually (usually per 1,000 square feet), based on its organic matter and other considerations.

The numbers on fertilizer labels reveal the percentages of actual nitrogen and other nutrients products contain, so you can match the product to your needs. Be careful, though: feeding too much or too often causes more harm than good. Establish a feeding schedule that meets your lawn's fertilizer needs, and stick to it.

FIGHT LAWN WEEDS

Even when freshly planted, lawns usually inherit weeds and weed seeds. Weeds compete with grasses for nutrients, water and light. Learn about common lawn weeds and how to kill broadleaf weeds, so you eliminate the labor and expense of repeated treatments.

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