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.
- Use combination products.
- Repair the old lawn instead of putting in a new one.
- Get the mowing done faster.
- Mow higher.
- Leave grass clippings where they fall.
1. Use combination products.
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.
- If you live in the North: In spring when the dandelions begin to flower, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action to kill weeds like dandelions and clover while feeding the lawn the nutrients it needs to grow thick and green. It also prevents crabgrass from sprouting for up to 4 months.
- If you live in the South: Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action adds up to major time savings by killing and preventing fire ants for up to 6 months, killing many of the most stubborn Southern lawn weeds (like dollarweed and clover), and feeding to strengthen your lawn against drought and heat stress.
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.
2. Repair the old lawn instead of putting in a new one.
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:
- To fix small patches and bare spots, use the right Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair product for your lawn type. These seeding mixes allow you to grow grass anywhere* by combining Scotts® high performance seed, premium continuous-release lawn food, and a super-absorbent growing material. They also include a “tackifier” to help keep seed from washing away on sloped areas of your lawn.
- To thicken up areas of thin, scraggly lawn, useScotts® Turf Builder® Thick'R Lawn™. With grass seed to fill in the gaps, soil improver to build strong roots, and fertilizer to feed both new and existing grass, a single application will leave your lawn up to 50 percent thicker.*
As with all products, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label.
3. Get the mowing done faster.
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:
- Either spiral pattern that starts at the perimeter of the lawn and circles inwards,
- Or a back-and-forth pattern that creates stripes parallel to the longer side of your yard.
If desired, you can alternate between the two methods to reduce wear patterns in the lawn.
4. Mow higher.
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.
5. Leave grass clippings where they fall.
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 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.