Everyone wants a healthy green and lush lawn. Below are some relatively easy and simple rules to follow to yield a yard of envy. Mowing Mow weekly and make sure to use sharp mower blades (be careful not to cut too short) Cutting your lawn weekly will stimulate good healthy growth as well as cut down (pun intended) on the presence of weeds. Try and avoid cutting a wet lawn, you will not get a good clean cut and you will dull your mower blades. Also, a good rule when determining how low to cut is to never cut more than 1/3 of the length of the grass at a time. Whenever possible, mulching the cut grass back into your lawn will eliminate the need for bagging and the short clippings will fertilize your lawn in the process. Watering Use irrigation water whenever possible. Water deeply but infrequently. A common mistake is to over water your lawn. You should avoid daytime and nighttime watering. The best time of the day to water is dawn and dusk. Watering at night can create prolonged moisture and can create disease in your grass. Watering during the day can cause water loss through evaporation. Fertilizing Your lawn needs proper fertilization but mixing or over fertilizing can damage your grass. You can have your soil sampled every few years to determine your soil content for around $20. In general , IFA is a good resource to go to with questions about what fertilizer will work for your lawn Another alternative is to use a paid service that will create a fertilization program customized to your soil and lawn conditions. Pest Control The best way to prevent pests, disease and weeds is to grow a thick, lush, vigorous lawn. If you do need to use herbicides there are two categories to be aware of: 1. Pre-emergents - these prevent weeds from germinating and are only applied yearly 2. Post-emergents - these are used after the weed is already visible. They also are used to kill broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, chickweed, or unwanted grass like crab grass, quack grass or even wild varieties of rye or bluegrass that cannot be prevented by mowing or hand-pulling. Enjoy After spending all that time prepping, watering, mowing and fertilizing your lawn, it is time to reward yourself by enjoying the fruits of your labor. Grab a cold drink, sit in the sun, wriggle your feet in the grass and simply enjoy that beautiful lawn.