pH testing
Photo: Webb Chappell
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Where to Start: Test and Tidy Up

Neglected your lawn last fall? Here are the steps to take in early-spring to get grass off to a healthy start.

A soil test is the only way to identify what your lawn needs. A Cooperative Extension office can perform an analysis for about $25 (search to locate one near you). While you're waiting for the results, rake up any leaves left from last fall; the raking will also fluff up grass tamped down by rain or snow. Once the grass is dry, mow the lawn to about 2 inches tall. "Mowing the lawn shorter than normal removes brown, dead tissue at the tips and encourages new growth," says Scotts researcher Phil Dwyer, Ph.D.

For more clean-up musts, see Smart Spring Yard Cleanup.
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