How to get, maintain a green lawn

Yard expert provides tips for a lush lawn

Green with envy over a neighbor's yard? 

Getting and keeping a healthy lawn may be easier than one would think, said Peter Sawchuk, of Consumer Reports.

"If you follow the right techniques, you can have a perfectly green lawn without a lot of fertilizer, water or even consistent cutting," Sawchuk said.

He suggested to stop cutting the lawn so short. Raising the height on the mower deck to at least three inches should help.

"Taller grass has longer roots. Those roots gain more moisture down in the soil," Sawchuk said. "The taller grass actually shades the area around the ground and reduces evaporation."

He said instead of bagging the grass clippings, set the mower to mulch, which helps add nutrients to the soil.

Making sure the mower's deck is clear of leftover grass is a good idea, because grass buildup isn't good for cutting.

Maintaining a sharp blade at the start and twice during the mowing season is a great idea.

"A sharp blade is most important, because it makes a clean cut on the grass, while a dull blade whacks the grass, stresses it out, and it will turn it brown," Sawchuk said.

A lawn doesn't require too much water.

"An established lawn only needs about an inch of water a week," Sawchuk said.

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