Photo: Bill Grove/iStockphoto

Troubleshoot Your Lawn

Green, cool, and comfortable underfoot, turf grass is as versatile as an outdoor surface gets. Whether hosting a spring yard sale, a summer cookout, or a game of touch football in the fall, your lawn works hard year-round. All that foot traffic may have left it a bit ragged, though, and any missed fall maintenance—that last dose of fertilizer you were supposed to spread, any bare patches that should have been reseeded—may have caused your lawn to look a little worn out this spring, with thin spots and less color than you remember.

Now's the time to make amends with a proper feeding schedule and smart troubleshooting tactics to stop budding pest and weed problems in their tracks. Read on for what to do right now and in the weeks ahead to cultivate a hardy, healthy patch of green.

Shown: A thick, well-fed lawn is your best defense against weeds, which can't compete for space and nutrients. Leaving the grass long, 3 inches or more, encourages roots to grow deeper, where they'll weather drought better. Taller grass also casts shade, preventing weed seeds from germinating.
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