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Outdoor Sensations
532 W. Rich St.
Columbus OH 43215

“I am interested in knowing how I can maintain a lush green lawn, without doing quite as much damage to the environment? In other words, can my lawn stay green without me being mean?”

The overall goal of turf grass management is to produce healthy turf.  Healthy turf will provide you with the highest quality lawn possible, while being less dependent on pesticides.  A healthy lawn can be achieved through a combination of common-sense practices, known as Integrated Pest Management, or IPM for short.  IPM techniques let you maintain an attractive, healthy lawn, while having as low of an impact on the environment as possible.   

Proper lawn care is probably the most useful IPM method for managing pests and controlling appearance.  Good cultural practices that reduce weed and insect problems in the lawn include proper mowing height, correct watering techniques, and effective fertilization applications. 

Raise that mower up!  Most homeowners mow their lawns too short, resulting in more sunlight reaching the soil surface, which encourages weed seeds to germinate and open a lawn to a weed infestation.  Weed problems from mowing a lawn too short usually results in the homeowner applying more herbicides to control the weeds, which is not necessary.  Here in Clintonville, we recommend you mow your lawn near 3 inches to maintain a dense, lush lawn.   

Sharpen that mower blade! A dull mower blade will tear the grass leaf leaving a ragged appearance and browning at the tips.  This can result in increased turf disease problems, so have your lawn mower blade sharpened at least a couple of times a season to maintain a better looking, healthier lawn. 

Know how to water!  Watering properly will help your lawn grow deep roots that make it stronger and less vulnerable to drought.  It’s best to water only when the lawn really needs it, and then water slowly and deeply.  Many people water too often and do not use enough water, which trains the turf grass roots to turn up near the surface, making it difficult for the lawn to find moisture during dry periods.  It is also best to water during the early morning hours, to help reduce evaporation and help avoid certain diseases forming on the leaf blades overnight.  

Feed that lawn!  Proper fertilization will improve turf color and density, and the growth of the grass will be rapid enough to discourage weed invasion, thus eliminating the need for herbicides.  Use a slow-release form of nitrogen for a more uniform growth over a longer period of time, which will also reduce the number of seasonal applications necessary to maintain a healthy lawn.   

Let your lawn breathe!  Thatch is a layer of dead plant material, that can build up to one-half inch thick or more, preventing water and nutrients from penetrating to the soil and grass roots.  The practice of core aeration once or twice a season will reduce your lawn’s thatch level, and stimulate new growth.  Spring and fall are the best times of the year to core aerate your lawn, which also encourages uniform turf color and reduces soil compaction.