Mr. Lawn's best advice for a beautiful lawn

June 19, 2015

George Dege (aka "Mr. Lawn") was the owner of Dege Garden Centre in St. Paul, Minnesota. During growing season, he hosted a weekly call-in radio show devoted to lawn care and also educated thousands of homeowners over the years. Here are his top tips.

Mr. Lawn's best advice for a beautiful lawn

For healthy grass, adjust your soil pH

"Soil pH (acidity level) is very important, and just because your dirt looks rich and black doesn't mean it's the right pH for grass. Take samples around the yard and get them tested. If the pH is too low (acidic) or too high (alkaline), the grass isn't happy to be there. But you can fix the problem by adding lime to raise the pH or iron to lower it. Most grasses prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.2."

Know how much you water

"To see how much water your sprinkler is putting on the lawn, set out a few cake pans and measure the water they collect in an hour. Put 2.5 to five centimetres (about one to two inches) of water on the grass every week — depending on temperature and soil conditions — preferably in the earlier part of the day so the grass dries out before dark."

Feed shady areas less

  • "People tend to over-apply fertilizer to shady areas because the grass is struggling. But that just kills it faster! Many people really have two lawns — a lawn that gets full sun for most of the day, and a shaded lawn that may get only two to four hours of direct sun — and their water and fertilizer needs are different," he says.
  • "The grass in shady areas needs less water because less evaporates, and it needs less fertilizer because with less sun it doesn't grow as much," he continues. "When you go into shade, shift the controls on the spreader so you're spreading about half the amount."

The best lawn advice is locally grown

  • "One-size-fits-all doesn't work for fertilizer, weed killer and grass seed, even though that's what the chain stores sell.
  • The best way to find out about growing conditions in your area and what to put on your lawn, and when, is to talk to a local garden centre or your agricultural extension service." 
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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