• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and host Kevin O'Connor discuss best practices for keeping a lawn lush and green.

    1. Every autumn, run a core aerator over entire lawn to relieve compaction and allow water and nutrients to penetrate into the soil.
    2. Spread an even layer of compost over the lawn to improve the soil.
    3. In early spring, run a power dethatcher over lawn to remove dead grass and leaves.
    4. Rake up the thatch and dump it into a compost pile.
    5. Rake new grass seed over bare spots in lawn.
    6. Use a soil tester to evaluate health of soil and to how much lime and fertilizer to add.
    7. Use broadcast spreader to add lime, and then fertilizer to lawn.
    8. Mow the lawn, making sure to raise or lower the mowing deck to the optimum height. It's best to cut off no more than of the grass blades with each mowing.
    9. A mulching lawnmower blade will chop grass clippings into very fine particles and blow them back down into the lawn. If using a non-mulching mower, be sure to bag the clippings.
    10. Use a lawn sprinkler to apply 1 inch of water per week. Apply the inch of water during two or three applications per week.
    11. Use an automatic timer to water the lawn in the very early morning, some time between 4am and 6am.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Maintaining a lawn can be time-consuming, but it's not very difficult
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • Core aerator, used to punch air holes down into lawn
      • power dethatcher
        Power dethatcher, for removing dead leaves, grass and thatch from lawn
      • wheelbarrow
        Wheelbarrow, for transporting thatch and other materials
      • lawn mower
        Lawnmower, for trimming the grass
      • walk-behind spreader
        Broadcast spreader, for distributing seed, lime and fertilizer
      • plastic rake
        Leaf rake, used to rake up thatch and spread grass seed

      Shopping List

      Soil tester, used to determine acidity and health of soil

      Compost, for spreading over lawn after aerating

      Grass seed, for reseeding bare spots in lawnLime and fertilizer, used to rejuvenate lawn

      Automatic timer, used to turn on water to lawn sprinkler