How to Care for Your Lawn

Learn how to properly care for your lawn all year round with our expert tips on mowing, watering and feeding your grass.
From: DK Books - How to Grow
Similar Topics:

A verdant lawn makes a wonderful foil for flower borders and creates an emerald focal point in winter when color is in short supply. There are different types of turf for different situations but all lawns benefit from regular mowing, and care and attention in the spring and autumn.

Smarten Up Your Lawn 03:34

Use these quick weekend fixes to take care of problem areas in your yard.

Mowing

All Lawns Benefit from Regular Mowing

All Lawns Benefit from Regular Mowing

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Mow grass whenever it is growing, provided the ground isn't too wet or icy to walk on. In spring, mow once a week with the blades at their highest setting, and gradually lower them as growth accelerates. Use a box to collect the clippings, which can be composted, or use a "mulching mower" which doesn't remove the grass but chops it into fine pieces, returning nutrients to the lawn. Rake off thick patches of clippings, which will damage the turf. In summer, a high-quality lawn may need cutting three times a week, but in autumn, as growth slows, once or twice a week should suffice.

Watering

Sprinkler Watering Garden of Small Colorful Blooms

Sprinkler Watering Garden of Small Colorful Blooms

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In dry periods, water newly laid turf, freshly sown areas, and high-quality lawns. Leave established lawns unwatered, but stop mowing because longer grass helps protect the roots. The grass may turn brown, but will recover once it rains.

Water a new lawn every week in dry spells, until it is established. You can tell when fine lawns need watering because they lose their spring when walked on. Reduce water evaporation by using sprinklers early in the morning or at night. Move seep hoses by 8 inches every half hour.

Feeding

Divide Lawn Into Grids to Apply Fertilizer

Divide Lawn Into Grids to Apply Fertilizer

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The amount of fertilizer you need to maintain lush green grass depends on how rich the underlying soil is, and if you occasionally leave the clippings on the lawn, which help top up the soil nutrients. Apply granular or liquid lawn fertilizer at least once a year. Spring and early summer feeds are high in nitrogen to boost leaf growth; products for use in early autumn are low in nitrogen but high in potassium to aid grass roots in winter. Do not overfeed because it can result in weak growth and fungal problems.

Divide the lawn into a grid of yard squares using stakes. Apply fertilizer at the rate according to the package. Rent a calibrated spreader for large lawns, and water if it doesn't rain within three days after feeding.

Weeding Options

Eliminate Flowering Weeds by Hand

Eliminate Flowering Weeds by Hand

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Acidic lawns are prone to moss and weed growth. Check soil pH in winter, and raise it by applying ground chalk or limestone at a rate of 2 ounces per 10 square foot. Apply a lawn weedkiller in spring or summer, and repeat in early autumn. Organic gardeners can grub out creeping buttercups, daisies, and tap-rooted weeds, like dandelions, using an old knife.

Next Up

How to Repair Your Lawn Sprinkler

Learn how to inspect and replace damaged risers and heads in a lawn sprinkler system.

How to Resod a Lawn

Cover a brown, dead lawn with a lush, green carpet of grass.

How to Fix Lawn Lumps and Bumps

Learn how to repair lawn depressions and hollows with this step-by-step guide. 

How to Repair Lawn Edges

If not repaired, damaged edges will continue to deteriorate, and like any bare patch, they also provide an open invitation for weeds to establish. Reseeding a damaged edge is rarely effective, so try tackling the problem using this simple technique.

How to Create a Level Lawn

Create a level lawn and prevent future problems with this step-by-step landscaping guide to remove bumps and hollows.

How to Fake a Golf Course-Worthy Lawn

With these golf course pro tips, you'll be well on your way to a gorgeously green home lawn.

Plugging and Sprigging a Lawn

Learn how to start a brand-new warm-season lawn or patch an existing one using plugs or sprigs. 

Removing Lawn Thatch

Thatch causes trouble for your lawn when it exceeds 1/2 inch thick. Cutting through and removing thatch will improve your lawn's health.

Fall Lawn Care: How to Repair After a Drought

Summer can leave lawns hard and patchy. Try these tips for improving a summer-damaged lawn. 

How to Repair Bald Spots in Your Lawn

Find out how to get bald spots in your lawn to start sprouting.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Saving America

6:30am | 5:30c

Minnesota Salvage

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
Tonight
Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Flip or Flop

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.