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Home > Lawns > Existing Lawn?

Existing Lawn?

To make the transition to a lower maintenance lawn a successful one, begin by carefully evaluating current conditions, including your recent maintenance history. Before beginning corrective action, examine your lawn and surrounding landscape for the following:

  • Soil compaction
  • Excessive levels of thatch
  • Shade
  • Poor or excessive drainage
  • Weeds
  • Insects and other pests
  • Species/varieties of grasses present

Lawn grasses that already adapted to less water and fewer nutrients (grasses such as fine-leaved fescues and common Kentucky bluegrasses) must be present. If not, you should consider adding them.

In addition, have the soil where grasses are growing tested to determine fertility requirements. Contact your county Extension office to request soil test forms and sample bags.

 

LEVELS OF HOME LAWN CARE

Lawn Care Level Amount of Watering Mowing Heights Pounds of Fertilizer That May be Needed*
Timing of Fertilizer Applications**
         
Very Low Maintenence
(see grasses for low maintenance)
None 3 in. + 0
----------
Low Maintenance
Suitable grasses are common Kentucky bluegrasses & fine-leaved fescues
Little to None 2½-3 in. 1
September
Medium Maintenance
Suitable grasses are most Kentucky bluegrasses & fine-leaved fescues
Some 2-3 in. 2
mid- to late-Aug

 

* Eliminate one fertilizer application by leaving clippings on the lawn. Soils with high organic matter levels (indicated by a soil test) need less nitrogen (N) per year due to the reserve N supply in the organic matter. N will be slowly released for plant use as the organic matter further breaks down over time. Never apply more than 1 pound of N per 1,000 square feet per application.

** Use earlier times in northern parts of the state, later times in southern areas.