Build Up the Low Yellow Spots
The makers and sellers of pest and fungus treatments would love you to believe that every yellow or dead spot is the result of a sinister invader that can be eliminated with frequent use of their expensive products. But some yellow spots are simply the result of low spots in your lawn, especially if they appear after heavy rain. Grass can suffocate or rot in standing water. Try spreading a layer of compost over the yellow spot to raise it up to the level of the surrounding ground. Within a week or two, new grass will likely sprout to fill the patch.
Quit Bagging Grass Trimmings
If you have the kind of mower that shreds grass and drops it right back onto the lawn, you can reduce the recommended amount of lawn fertilizer by at least a third-and possibly even half. The salespeople at your garden center would tear their hair out if they knew you were onto this secret, but a mulching mower will save you having to spread pounds and pounds of chemical fertilizer every year.
Save a Bundle on Lawn Aeration
It seems that every year a swarm of eager workers roam around the neighbourhood posting handbills and ringing doorbells, insisting that you need to aerate your lawn-right now! If you don’t keep track, you might do it three or four times a year. Relax. Most lawns only need aerating once a year to improve the drainage and breathability of soil, and it’s important to do it at the right time for your area and grass type. Some grasses do better with aeration at the beginning of the growing season, and some prefer it at the end.
You don’t have to pay someone else an arm and a leg to do your aeration. It’s not rocket science, and it’s no more strenuous than mowing a lawn. Just be sure to mark your sprinkler heads and any buried cables first. Ask several of your neighbours if they’d like to go in on an aeration party, then chip in to rent a machine. You can hire the machines at hardware stores for half a day for about the same amount that you’d pay to have a single lawn aerated. You can take turns using the machine on each of your own lawns, or pay a strapping teenager to do them all in a morning. Either way, you’ll come out ahead.