Prevent common lawn-care mistakes

May 17, 1992

Four common mistakes can keep your lawn from looking its best. Avoid them, and your grass has a chance to be the envy of the neighborhood, says Dr. Thomas R. Turner, turf grass management specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service, Maryland Institute for Agriculture.

The four common mistakes are:

Using poor quality seed -- You might pay 50 percent to 100 percent more for varieties suited to Maryland conditions, but the added cost is worthwhile when you consider germination results and pesticide reduction.

Over-fertilizing -- Too much fertilizer in the spring or summer only increases the frequency of mowing. Apply no more than 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet for a bright green color. Do not fertilize from early April through mid-May if you want to help reduce disease problems.

Mowing grass too short -- Cutting cool-season grasses at a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches can reduce weed competition 50 percent to 80 percent, compared to a mowing height of less than 2 inches. The higher mowing height also improves hardiness.

Contact the Extension Home and Garden Information Center, 1-800-342-2507.

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