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home>>family>>gardening 2>>tips for a beautiful lawn

Tips for a Beautiful Lawn from the Mow Master


(ARA) - Wondering about the best things to feed your lawn? Is that a new blade of grass or a weed? Learn the secrets to creating a lush green lawn with advice from John Deere's "Mow Master" Bill Klutho.

Q: When we moved into our new house last year, I inherited a yard full of weeds and crab grass. What can I do this year to get rid of them? -- Needs to Weed

A: Now is the time to prevent crab grass before it comes back. Put down a pre-emergence herbicide before the crab grass seeds germinate and sprout. If you wait until you see the weeds, it's too late. John Deere recommends that you set up an early warning system. When you see the forsythia bushes in your neighborhood in bloom bright yellow leaves then spread a pre-emergence herbicide.

Many other common weeds, like dandelions, can be handled with a post-emergence herbicide. Wait until after the weeds sprout and have leaves; then pounce on them with your herbicide. This weed killer is absorbed into the leaves and is circulated down into the root system. You'll have the best results in the spring when the weeds are still growing.

Q: My walk-behind mower was on its last legs, so this year I finally got my dream mower: a new John Deere LX 280 riding mower. Do I need to mow differently with a tractor vs. a walk-behind? -- Riding in Style

A: How you mow is mostly the same, with one significant difference: slopes. When mowing slopes with a walk-behind mower, it's best to mow back and forth across a hill. If you trip and fall, the mower is less likely to tumble on top of you. But with a lawn tractor, mow up and down hills for greatest stability. If the hillside is really ominous, get creative and plant a ground cover instead.

As with any mower, read your operator's manual and pay close attention to all warning labels. When walking backward with a push mower, you should be careful not to run over your own toes. With a riding mower, you have limited visibility and could potentially encounter something without even feeling it; so be extra careful of the space around you. No matter what kind of mower you use, be sure to keep children and pets inside under adult supervision when mowing.

Q: What's the deal with lime and iron? Does my lawn really need them or not? Curious Cutter

A: You add crushed limestone or iron to a lawn in order to change its chemistry. Grass prefers slightly acidic soil, so you either add lime to bring the acid level down or add sulfur to increase it. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you might have to lime every year. If a lawn turns yellow, sometimes the culprit is lack of iron. Check with your neighbors to find out what they add during the summers. The best solution is to have your soil tested through your local agriculture extension office. The analysis you receive will tell you what to do.

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Courtesy of ARA Content
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