More than just green grass

     You may think that water and fertilizer are all the "ingredients" you need to maintain healthy turf, but not exactly. Now I am not one to burst anyones bubble; however, there is way more to healthy turf than just mowing, watering, and adding fertilizer that one can get off the shelf at any box store.

     First, you need to know that the high nitrogen levels in some fertilizer can actually damage your turf. Heat from the sun causes nitrogen to volatilize, which in turn will burn or yellow the turf; therefore, timing on the application of fertilizer is crucial.

     Second, it may sound strange, but the height you mow your turf can actually damage it. There is a law us "turf" people go by called, "the one third rule," which means an individual would only cut off one-third of the blade of grass. If one was to go any lower, the impact would result in damage to the stem of the leaf and cause yellowing of the turf.

    Third, an individual's yard needs to breathe, yes, I said breathe. Aeration is key to good gases exchange for one's turf to help establish a better root system. Aeration is also good at loosening the soil and helping with compaction.

    The fourth item one needs to address is his/her mowing pattern. Have you ever noticed tire tracks in your turf or yellowing? That could have to do with the way you mow. Always change your mowing pattern, if you mow your yard straight this week, try an angle next week.

    Last but not least, sharpen your mower blades! Now you would not use a dull pair of scissors to cut out one of your loved ones school pictures would you? Having a dull mower blade will actually tear the grass leaf, causing longer healing time and more energy to grow.

    By following these five steps, neighbors will begin to envy your yard.

                                                        -Jeff Gering