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Take Care of Young Plants

Step 8. Take Care of Young Plants

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Your work to this point will be in vain if you do not care for the young grass plants as the seeds germinate and begin to grow. The most critical need is to apply water at least twice a day, assuming no rain. If the soil dries out, the seedlings will not germinate or will soon wither and die. To maximize the germination rate, soak your lawn on the same…

There are approximately 10,000 grass species in the world. Only about 50 can make a good lawn!]

Choosing the Right Grass

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Do not buy seed on impulse! Choosing the right grass for your lawn can make the difference between having a low-maintenance, environmentally-friendly lawn versus one that is susceptible to diseases, pests, and weeds. The type of seed you choose depends on several factors: What do you want your lawn to look like? Grasses vary in color, leaf width, habit (characteristic appearance), and density.  Grass color and texture vary by species and…

Natural world

Cool-Season, Warm-Season, Transitional Zone or Native

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There is no breed of grass able to thrive on both a Vermont ski slope and a Florida orange grove.  For this reason grasses are divided into two main groups, cool-season and warm-season, and then further divided into two subgroups,  transitional zone and native. Cool-season grasses all thrive in northern areas, including Canada, as well as higher elevations farther south.  The main growing period for cool-season grass is in spring and…

Grass is grass is grass… or is it?

Basic Distinctions

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Different species of grasses have distinctive growth habits that will affect the appearance of turf. Bunchgrasses Bunchgrasses, such as ryegrasses and most fescues, do not spread but enlarge through the growth of sideshoots or tillers.  Bunchgrasses are easy to spot if your lawn thins out because the grass looks like small clumps or islands arising from the same crown.  Bunchgrasses wear well, but do not form a solid sod.  You…

What's Under Your Soil?

Work on the Down Low to Improve What’s on Top

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Horticulturists agree that time spent improving what is happening below the surface of a lawn greatly reduces the time needed to maintain what is on top of it.  The ideal soil for grass meets five requirements: 1) it is slightly acidic; 2) it contains an adequate supply of nutrients; 3) it allows for deep root growth; 4) it supports a thriving population of beneficial microbes, and 5) it retains adequate…

Setting the Right Mowing Height

Setting the Right Mowing Height

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There are several reasons not to cut your grass too short. Grass grows from the crown, not the blade tips, a trait that makes grass ideal for lawns.  Grass keeps growing despite regularly cutting off the upper stem, leaf sheath, and blades. Keeping grass longer allows it greater surface area to carry out photosynthesis,  which in turn results in healthier plants.  In addition, taller grass grows slower than shorter grass. …

Seed Storage

Seed Storage

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While unused grass seed may remain viable for years, its rate of germination will decrease over time.  Be sure to keep seed stored in a cool, dry environment.  To maintain optimal viability, the rule of thumb for storage is that the temperature and the relative humidity added together should be less than 100.  Store in 5-gallon pails with tight-fitting lids. Do not store seed in plastic bags since they will…