Keeping Your Lawn Safe for Pets/Kids

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When I bought my first house, I was determined to have the greenest lawn on the block, and would stop at nothing to reach my goal. My strategy included excessive chemical fertilizers, borderline illegal herbicides, and excessive watering practices. My approach has changed over the years, and I now am striving to get a great looking lawn that is also pet and child friendly. See below for my top tips for a great lawn this season or next:

  1. Don’t cut it too short! Figure out what kind of grass you have and determine the ideal height range. My grass is mostly Kentucky Bluegrass, which is recommended to be cut at 1 3/4 – 2 1/2″. I used to cut my grass way too short and it would burn up in the hot summer days. I now cut it to 1.75″ now and it is doing AMAZING this summer.
  2. Keep your blade sharp! A dull blade rips instead of cuts, and adds extra stress to your lawn. I use a Fiskars 6207 17-Inch Stay Sharp Plus Push Reel Lawn Mower New and love how it cuts the grass like a warm knife through butter.
  3. Leave your clippings! Instead of bagging your cuttings, mulch them on your lawn and return much needed nutrients to your grass. This minimizes your need to fertilize, which saves $$$.
  4. Experiment with Watering! I tried to deep water my lawn one a week, but some parts of the lawn were still struggling. Turns out I have sandy soil in some parts that don’t hold water as well as the parts consisting of more clay. I water the clay parts once a week, and the sandy soil twice per week and now I have great results. Remember to water in the morning to minimize your risk of lawn fungus.
  5. Mow in the Evening! Mowing early in the morning can damage your lawn if there is dew present; moisture makes your lawn more susceptible to tearing during cutting. Cutting in the middle of the day when it is hottest can stress your lawn. So cut in the early evening when it is cooler and your lawn is likely dry.
  6. Use Organic Fertilizers! Leaving your cuttings will return valuable nutrients to your grass so you won’t need to fertilize frequently. Instead of using synthetic fertilizers, I prefer using compost (you can buy it by the yard from Burnco). Compost will give your lawn the extra nutrients it needs and will help keep your lawn child and pet friendly.

Hope you find these tips helpful to keep your lawn looking great! Remember, a healthy lawn will keep your weeds to a minimum so you won’t have to spend all day pulling weeds!

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