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3 Smart And Simple Lawn-Care Tips

By Elizabeth Elstien

Lawn care can be time consuming, but it doesn't have to be. Avoid pesticides, plant native vegetation and make your lawn draught-resistant. To ensure the grass is always greener on your side of the fence, try these three smart Connecticut lawn-care tips.

1. Water Naturally

Connecticut lawns must withstand sometimes extreme cold weather and warm summers, with temperatures varying by area. Prepare the lawn so that it can withstand times of draught with little water. Watering by natural rain is best, but not always possible given the watering day and/or time restrictions placed by municipalities. Measure rain and/or sprinkler use by discretely placing a can in the yard. In normal summer weather, water one inch per week early in the morning, when water is less likely to evaporate, cause disease or invite insects. The lawn should get two to three inches of water a week when especially hot and watering should occur in later afternoon or early evening to hold the moisture better. This deep and infrequent watering grows more entrenched roots making the lawn better able to withstand weather changes.

2. Cut Right

This assumes the proper cold-weather grasses were planted and the lawn is already established. Common Connecticut grasses are Kentucky blue, which goes dormant in a draught thereby requiring a lot of water, perennial rye and fine fescue. Mow your grass to the right height. Grass should generally be mowed to 2.5 to 3 inches. Tall grass allows a more extensive root system to grow underground, which makes the grass healthier and more resistant to disease and drier summers. Early spring and fall weather do allow for slightly shorter grass heights, but not below 1.5 inches. Shorter spring mowing places the plant's energy into growing new leaf blades, while shorter fall grass heights control winter fungal growth.

3. Add Compost

Compost is a natural way to enrich and thicken the lawn while chemicals fertilizers can wreak havoc with the ecosystem. Grasses need a lot of nitrogen to grow thick with a deep green color. Coffee grounds, corncobs, crushed eggshells, leafy plant trimmings, and hair make great nitrogen-rich compost. Phosphorus from bone meal, banana peels, crab shells and shrimp peelings develops a strong root system. Hardy plant growth and resistance to disease is aided by potassium from natural potassium sulfate, but a good composted fertilizer will naturally contain enough potassium. Aerate the soil with a machine or hire a landscaper before applying to ensure the nutrients go down to the roots.

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