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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Lawn Care tips 11 min

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People love lush green golf course lawns. You can have that kind of a lawn without affecting

the environment if you are smart about doing it.

It is critical actually for everyone to be concerned with what they do on their property.

Any kind of changes that you are making to your environment starts with an understanding

of what an impact individual environments have.

A lush green lawn around a home is beautiful. But many homeowners struggle with weeds bugs

and erosion on their properties. These problems could be a sign your lawn isnt getting what

it needs to stay healthy. We are going to follow five Master Gardeners as they share

their tips for a great lawn with several homeowners. These tips will help you get a healthy lawn

too while limiting the use of chemicals and protecting the environment.

The first thing you need to do is to test your soil to see if the pH is correct. Regardless

of how much fertilizer you put on its not going to do anything because it needs the

right pH for it to absorb the nutrients. So that is what the testing is all about.

When you are doing a soil test you want to make sure that you do a randomized sample

throughout your entire yard. You take those composite little samples and mix them in a

bucket and then bring just a cup of that sample and put it in the soil test bag and you can

take it to any of your local extension agencies and they can send it off for you.

They will mail you back the composition of your soil.

We will be able to tell you exactly how much fertilizer of what strength and whether you

need lime whether the soil is too acid too base.

Three inches is basically an optimum height for cutting your lawn.

The idea is the taller the top the deeper the roots.

If you cut your lawn too low then you are going to have a lot of exposed soil and that

is where the weeds will start to germinate. Oh okay.

So by cutting your grass a little bit higher you are helping to shade the roots. It retains

some moisture. It also helps absorb like the groundwater better.

The other thing is to make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp.

If you start seeing brown edges on your edges of your blades of grass or ragged edges on

your grass blades that is usually an indication it is dulling.

When you do cut your grass what do you do with the clippings?

I dont collect them. Good good you just leave them?

I just let them there. That is a great way to add organic matter

right back to your grass. The grass clippings have nitrogen in them

so you are putting nitrogen right back into your lawn and nitrogen is one of the nutrients

that grass needs to establish growth and the green color and everything else.

You need to do deep waterings less frequently then and that will help your roots.

If you do water then we always recommend you get an inch a week if its getting it by rain

or if its getting it by you watering it that is all that counts. Always try to do the watering

in the morning if you can before 10 oh clock because that lets the grass dry out during

the day and you dont have wet grass overnight. If you have your grass always wet you are

going to have fungus problems. In the summer around here because of the high

temperatures and the sporadic rainfall like we are talking maybe July and August we recommend

that people allow their lawns to go dormant. Just let them turn brown. By the time you

get a rain or two in mid-September or later most of the lawns should green right back

up. Generally we dont like to put down insecticides

and pesticides unless there is a problem. The weeds is clover a problem to you or does

your lawn have to be all grass? Or you know clover is green.

People going down the road 30 40 miles per hour they cant tell if the lawn is green.

They have no idea. So try to accept what nature provides you.

Your perennial flower bed right here I mean you are introducing good insects to help combat

the bad ones that are going to be attacking your lawn.

But for insects and grubs like Japanese beetles we like to make sure that there is actually

a problem. If you suspect that you have Japanese beetles the grubs are the ones that are hurting

your lawn. You take about a foot square piece of soil and dig down about a couple a few

inches and then just peel it back just like sod and count how many grubs you find. And

if you find six or more grubs in a square foot you have got a problem. There are pesticides

that will control Japanese beetles but its got to be done in usually I think its July

for it to be effective.

Another area we want to talk about is fertilizing. Now what do you do for your lawn?

Well we havent done any fertilizing for a while.

Okay. Thats not a bad thing actually because you are right on the water and with the kind

of lawn that you have if you fertilize this a lot of it would probably wash off into Greenwood

Creek. One of the studies showed theres more pollution from fertilizers from homeowners

lawns than there is from agriculture. Just because you live in the center of town and

dont have much of a yard and cant see any stream that water that comes off your property

is going to wash down a road and eventually into a storm drain and eventually into one

of these waterways. Fertilizers can harm the environment because

they can create a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus and runoff into the bay and create algae growths

which create dead zones. What we are looking for are fertilizers that are not water soluble

because the water soluble fertilizers mostly your synthetics have a tendency to run off

as soon as they are hit with water. I would apply them right after it rains not right

before. I think again you know with the amount of rain that we can get in one storm you know

a lot of this can just whoosh off it goes. And when you have a slow release its going

to take its time going down and its actually better for your lawn. When you have the quick

release you are just going to get spurts of growth but you can get too much growth and

not enough root establishment. Whereas when you have the slow release you are going to

get a better root establishment along with the growth and you are going to have a longer

period of time frame where you have a nice continuous growth and green.

The best time to fertilize is in the fall. Probably between oh mid September to early

November sometime in there. And we recommend that you dont use more than one pound of actual

nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn but an alternative to that is just using compost

or leaf grow. Dont get it on hard surfaces. Concrete doesnt grow any faster if you got

fertilizer on it. The other thing that could be a problem with

lawns sometimes is that the soil over time becomes increasingly compacted.

There is a machine that comes and it goes through your yard and its got spokes on it

that go through and they pull all these plugs out about every oh about every four inches

and it breaks up. It looks messy for a day or two but it breaks up and that gradually

dissolves right back into your soil base. But it will help aerate so that that the roots

below can get oxygen. The other thing that we want to see in a yard

is some attention to controlling runoff from your property.

This has all the makings of a site thats going to have erosion problems.

Now that I think about the topography of our back yard it definitely you know the slant

has become a little more accentuated than it used to be.

And you know with your concern for the stream thats nearby and for the river you want to

keep all the sediment on your own property. I notice that at all of the most of the corners

of your house maybe not all of them you have got rain barrels so that helps to filter out

the debris from the roof before it gets into the watershed. Rain gardens are designed to

slow the runoff of water. Rain gardens can be any size. You can locate

a rain garden off of your downspout for example and it can be just you know maybe just 10

by 10. So this rain garden here takes all of the

water from this downspout. Yes. And it pours.

What you are doing essentially is taking the water from here slowing it down holding it

until it filtrates into the ground. By planting native plants they adapt to the

area so when you get rain they can absorb the water and the pollutants. But if you dont

have rain they are not going to die.

We hope you enjoyed learning some of the tips and tricks to grow a healthy lush lawn this

season while protecting the environment. For more green tips check out our website at

and look for programs in your local area. Thanks for watching and remember green practices

make a healthy lawn.

The Description of Lawn Care tips 11 min