Lawn and Order: No-Nonsense Advice for Keeping Your Lawn Out of Trouble This Season

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TruGreen, the nation’s leading professional lawn care provider, offers these no-nonsense guidelines to help get your lawn on the straight and narrow path to a glorious green.

Spring is right around the corner, and it would be a crime to start the season with weeds and other problems robbing your lawn of a fair, healthy start. TruGreen, the nation’s leading professional lawn care provider, offers these no-nonsense guidelines to help get your lawn on the straight and narrow path to a glorious green.

  • Weed out the dead weight. Rake matted grass to remove the dead top growth and to allow new grass shoots to develop. There’s no need to completely eliminate the thatch -- it helps protect against weeds.
  • Get to the root of the problem. If the grass is thin and the soil compacted, use a mechanical aerator to remove small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. To determine if you need to aerate, remove a square foot section of lawn at least six inches deep. If grass roots extend only into the first 1-2 inches, your soil may be compacted and could benefit from core aeration.
  • Help the good seeds take root. To treat thin spots, loosen the soil surface to a one-inch depth, spread grass seed over the soil surface, and gently press the seed into the soil. Lightly cover with straw or seeding mulch to encourage rapid seed germination.
  • Do your lawn justice by applying the right fertilizer. To determine which fertilizer will give your lawn the boost it needs, take advantage of free services provided by local Extension Services and professional lawn care companies. Many will perform a free analysis to determine your lawn’s overall health and treatment options.
  • Make sure your applications are fair and balanced. If you choose to fertilize your lawn yourself, use a rotary spreader. Before you start, check the calibration to ensure accurate application. Avoid spreading fertilizer by hand because it is difficult to distribute it evenly and consistently. Water after you fertilize to help nutrients soak into the soil and reach the roots.
  • Don’t go astray. Environmentally sound lawn care keeps fertilizer application on the lawn and off driveways and sidewalks.
  • Ensure your watering schedule follows the rules. Turf grass should be watered so the soil is wet to a four-inch depth. To determine the depth of soil moisture, push a screwdriver or a garden trowel into the soil. If it meets little resistance, then the soil is wet. If it does not push easily into the soil, then it needs additional water.
  • Keep grass height on a short -- but not too short -- leash. Mow lawn at a correct height, usually between 2 and 2.5 inches in the spring, and as long as 3 inches in the summer. It is best to mow more frequently and cut less, no more than 1/3 of top growth with each mowing.
  • Avoid assault with dull mower blades. The sharper the blade, the cleaner the cut, and the better your lawn will look. If your blade is dull, carefully remove it and have it sharpened at a repair shop. Sharpen blades at least twice a season. If the blade is chipped or has other damage, replace it.
  • Don’t let your early progress slip away. After you mow, return grass clippings to the lawn to recycle nutrients.

By rooting out some of the chief offenders that can hinder a healthy lawn -- dead grass and leaves, compacted soil, and improper watering and fertilizing -- you can set your lawn up for a lush, green spring. For more lawn care tips, or for specific concerns about your lawn, visit

About TruGreen
TruGreen is the nation’s largest lawn care company, serving more than 2.5 million residential and commercial customers across the United States with lawn care, tree and shrub care. As the current industry leader, TruGreen continues to pioneer the development of new technology for lawn care, and devotes substantial resources to evaluate new products and equipment. The company is committed to responsible lawn care, including offering and promoting the use of natural, organic services and sustainable practices. Today, there are more than 250 TruGreen LawnCare branches in the United States and Canada, including more than 50 franchise locations. TruGreen is the exclusive U.S. organic and sustainable lawn and landscape care sponsor of Earth Day Network and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. TruGreen is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands, one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks.

About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster currently serves residential and commercial customers through a network of more than 5,500 company-owned locations and franchised licenses. The company’s brands include TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. The core services of the company include lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest control, home warranties, cleaning and disaster restoration, home cleaning, furniture repair and home inspection.


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