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Who has the time and energy to have the most beautiful lawn on the block? You do! Whether you’re a brand new homeowner, a recently converted lawn lover, or the neighborhood grass guru who’s just trying to stay on top of it all, these 5 handy lawn hacks will cut down on lawn care time and effort so you can spend more of both enjoying your own personal green space.
Using separate products to fertilize the lawn, kill weeds, and prevent problems like crabgrass or fire ants can triple your workload—especially during early spring when the lawn (and weeds and insects) are waking up. To put time back on your clock, choose combination products that solve multiple problems at one time.
No matter where you live, be sure to follow label directions and avoid applying to newly seeded lawns. You’ll also want to continue to fertilize your lawn every 6 to 8 weeks until fall. Be sure you have a good spreader, too. The simple, smooth-coverage Scotts® Whirl™ Hand-Powered Spreader is a great choice for small lawns, with no assembly required. For larger lawns, the Scotts® Elite Spreader, with its impressive 6-foot spread pattern, will help you get the job done fast. You can also check out the spreader recommendations in How to Choose Lawn Products and Spreaders.
Maybe your dog has scratched up bits of your lawn, or you moved a pile of wood and left a big spot behind. Or perhaps your new home came attached to a weak, scruffy lawn. Whatever the case, it’s much faster, easier, and more cost-effective to repair the existing lawn than it is to start over from scratch. Here’s what to do:
As with all products, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label.
One simple way to spend less time on the lawn is to be more efficient every time you mow. Start by creating mulch beds around (but not right up against) trees and foundation plantings so that you don’t have to make tiny turns with the mower. Then, choose an efficient mowing pattern. The best choice is the one with the fewest turns:
If desired, you can alternate between the two methods to reduce wear patterns in the lawn.
While it’s tempting to set the mower blades low for a close cut, most lawn grass types do best when the mower setting is between 2 and 3 inches. (Different grass types have different optimum heights, so make sure you’re mowing at the tall end of the height range for the particular grass in your yard.) True, your lawn won’t look as closely cut as a golf course, but those longer grass blades help shade weed seeds so they’re less likely to grow and become a time-consuming problem. For more information on mowing, including the best height for your particular grass type, read How to Mow the Lawn.
This is probably the easiest lawn hack of them all! Simply set your mower on the mulching setting and leave the clippings on the lawn. They will naturally feed the soil, helping the lawn grow and stay strong and thick—while you get the hour or so back that you would otherwise have had to spend raking them up. Just be sure to mow when the grass is dry to keep big clumps from forming.
So pick a couple of these handy lawn hacks or try all 5. However you mix and match them, you’ll end up with a lush, green lawn that takes less time to manage than you ever thought possible.
*Subject to proper care. Thick’R results may vary based on current condition of lawn.