Spring! How we look forward to the first blooms and the smell of freshly mown grass! But if your grass is patchy, brown or the farthest thing from lush, we can help with some timely tips.

Dethatch and Aerate Your Lawn
Two common lawn enemies: thatch and soil compaction. Thatch is the buildup of dead organic matter and, along with compacted soil, it can prevent your lawn’s roots from getting enough water and air. Use an iron rake or thatch rake to cut through and rake off thatch. This will also scarify the surface. For a large yard, you can rent a de-thatcher. Lawn aeration is a perfect solution for soil compaction. For ease, do it after a rain. Use a digging fork and holes should be 2″ to 3″ apart and 1″ to 2″ deep. Again, for large areas, you can rent an aerator from Longenecker’s.

Fertilize and Seed Your Lawn:
Fertilizing your lawn enriches the soil and creates a hardier, greener lawn. It promotes new growth and healthy roots while healing the grass from damage caused by foot traffic, pets and the elements. Some fertilizers are packaged for certain uses and types of grass. A balanced lawn fertilizer contains equal proportions of nitrogen and potassium. This is indicated by the nutrient ratios on the package. Read fertilizer labels for proper application times, amounts and conditions. Scotts® Annual 4-Step® lawn program, and Scotts® Turf Builder, is on sale during March at Longeneckers True Value, plus you can get a FREE Longenecker’s gift card with your purchase! Broadcast spreaders are available for sale or rent in our store.

Mow Professional Looking Stripes
Now that you have a nice thick lawn, take it to the next level by mowing stripes into your yard. First, mow in parallel rows. Using a sidewalk, driveway or other non-grass surface as a guide and a starting point, begin mowing parallel to the surface and work your way across the lawn, turning at each end and mowing alongside the row you just made, keeping your wheel just inside the row you just mowed. Use a grass bag or catcher to keep it looking clean and neat. The striping effect is created by light reflecting off grass blades. Stripes look dark when they are bent towards you, while lighter stripes are created by the effect of blades bent in the opposite direction. Water grass to make stripes stand out more. While mowing naturally creates stripes, the effect doesn’t last long. A lawn roller accentuates the striping and helps it last longer between mowing. There are manual push lawn rollers for after mowing and there are tow-behind rollers that you can attach to your riding mower while you are cutting. For simple straight stripe patterns, push the roller or mow in parallel lines like you would normally. The roller pushes down the grass in the direction in which you are mowing, creating a striped pattern. Be sure you “roll” the same direction that you mowed! For a checkerboard pattern, start by first cutting the outside perimeter of the space. Then cut/roll in parallel diagonal lines across the yard until you’ve mowed/rolled the entire space. Next, crisscross over those lines, cutting/rolling in parallel diagonal lines to create the distinctive checkerboard pattern.

Voila! A lawn the neighborhood will envy.