In the Weeds?

Improve your backyard life with these lawn care tips.

by © StatePoint Media — Brian Latimer, professional angler and yard fanatic.

The backyard is one of the most popular spots of the home to relax, host and have fun. However, it all starts with a beautiful lawn. If you’re in the weeds—literally—there are great resources available to help you tackle lawn care so you can make the most of your outdoor spaces and have a better overall outdoor experience.

Here are some steps for repairing bare spots in the lawn:

• Remove dead grass and weeds,

• Loosen the soil a few inches deep. If it’s hard and dry, add fresh topsoil.

• Next, sow seeds that match your lawn type. Gently rake them into the soil.

• Now, feed that new grass using a granular starter fertilizer.

• Lightly cover the area with straw to hold in moisture and keep birds from snacking.

• Water it and keep it damp at all times.

• Sprouts will appear soon! But wait a few weeks before mowing.

Experts also say that ongoing maintenance is essential to keeping that lawn looking great.

To ensure a lush, healthy lawn, pay attention to these additional weed-fighting and green-up tips:

1. Fight weeds. Although hand-weeding works, applying pre-emergent treatments to your lawn can help combat opportunistic weeds preemptively. Just be sure any chemical being applied is safe for the type of grass you have. Keep an eye on your lawn and manage weeds that appear.

2. Mulch. While weeds tend to thrive in bare soil, they hate thick mulch. Mulching can keep weeds from germinating. Use landscape fabrics beneath the mulch to keep sunlight out, but you’ll want to be sure it’s a type that will allow water to still permeate your soil. You’ll also want to prune plants and trees. This doesn’t just include cutting back new growth, but also cleaning out dead limbs or branches, and shaping areas that have become unsightly.

3. Scalp. To start the season, “scalp” warm-season grasses like zoysia or Bermuda. Removing old growth by cutting your lawn super low will allow sunlight in, which warms root systems and soil temperatures. Bag clippings so sunlight, fertilizer and water can penetrate the soil. n

More backyard life tips, advice and video tutorials can be found by visiting exmark.com/backyard.

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