By Gene and Katie Hamilton
To create a lush green landscape keep your grass healthy and in tip top shape with these helpful hints from the experts at Grass Seed USA, a coalition of American grass seed farmers. These are 3 easy peasy takeaways any homeowner can do using ordinary household items - ruler, screwdriver, mason jars - most everyone has around the house.
Tip 1: Mowing advice.
To check if you’re mowing your grass to the right height use a ruler. Wait until your grass is three inches tall before mowing, and then cut it to two inches in height. By trimming only one-third of the blade length, you’ll avoid stressing the grass while leaving enough leaf to protect the roots from the sun. When you mow your grass to the correct height you create a low maintenance, drought-tolerance lawn.
Tip 2: Avoid overwatering.
By watering only when your lawn needs it your grass will develop longer roots that are able to pull moisture from deep in the soil. To test for moisture, push a screwdriver (an old one) into the ground. If it’s tough to push it in, the soil is dry and the grass needs a drink; if the tool goes in easily, you don’t need to water yet.
Tip 3: Do It Yourself pH test.
Most turf grasses prefer soil with a neutral pH (neither acidic nor alkaline) and you can test for it with a pair of pint size mason jars. Fill each jar about half way full of soil taken from different parts of the yard, removing any rocks or other debris. Add a half-cup of household vinegar to the first jar and if the mixture fizzes, the soil is highly alkaline and you don’t need to test the other jar. If you get no reaction, continue the testing by adding a half-cup of water to the soil in the second jar. Mix well and then add a half-cup of baking soda to the slurry. If this mixture fizzes, the soil is very acidic.
Amend overly acidic soil with lime; amend alkaline soil with sulphur.
For more tips about your lawn go to www.weseedamerica.com, the Grass Seed USA website.
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