EXTENSION CONNECTION: Grow a happy, healthy, environmentally friendly lawn

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM.

•Keep mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear leaf blades, making them look bad and leaving grass susceptible to insect or disease invasion.

•Don’t mow when it’s wet — this is dangerous for you, tough on the mower and bad for the grass.

•If you miss a weekly mowing, raise the mower height so you don’t remove too much tissue. Slowly bring the height back down to the recommended level.

Drought tolerance

Most lawns die from improper irrigation practices, but you can train your lawn to be more drought-tolerant with these tips:

•Irrigate less frequently for longer periods each time. This helps train roots to grow deeper, which makes your lawn more drought-tolerant. Grasses irrigated this way will survive once-a-week watering restrictions.

•Turn your automatic sprinkler system off and irrigate as needed. Your lawn is ready for water when leaf blades start to fold in half lengthwise or when footprints remain visible in the lawn long after being made. Irrigate when at least 30 percent of the lawn shows these signs, unless rain is forecast in the next 24 hours.

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