Tips from the PROsTEST YOUR SOIL
Your lawn is a unique environment. A soil test helps guide your efforts to improve it. The test will provide information on your lawn's soil type, nutrient levels, and pH level.
Most lawns need feeding only twice a year, spring and fall, with an organic, slow release fertilizer. Organic fertilizers break down more slowly than synthetic ones and come from natural sources such as seaweed, blood meal and manure.
It's not beneficial to water everyday. Your lawn needs slow, deep watering to sustain and enhance root growth - about a inch of water per week depending on the time of year and daily temperature. To determine if your lawn is receiving the right amount of water, place a few empty cans, such as tuna cans, in several areas of your lawn and water for 15 minutes. Measure the water in each can for an average depth. Next calculate how long it takes to deliver one inch of water.
Keep mower blades sharp to avoid ripping the grass instead of cutting it. Use the highest setting on your mower so as not to remove more than a third of the length per cut. Cutting too short and too often can stress your lawn, making grass grow rapidly, promoting weed growth and requiring more food and water.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Grass doesn't grow well everywhere, such as the base of a tree in full shade. Consider planting shrubs, low maintenance ground covers or create a rock garden in these areas.