Luscious front lawns are the hallmark of a good-looking home. But how do neighborhood green thumbs keep their yards so perfect year-round without spending the big bucks on expensive lawn care services&

Luscious front lawns are the hallmark of a good-looking home. But how do neighborhood green thumbs keep their yards so perfect year-round without spending the big bucks on expensive lawn care services?
According to lawn-care experts, admittance into the Ivy League of lawns doesn’t require a glowing transcript or supervised experience. The basic tools necessary to achieve lawn nirvana are a mower, a fertilizer spreader, an edger, a weedeater and a blower.
First and foremost, mowing is the initial step to a better-looking lawn.
“Mow at the right height,” says Harold Enger, lawn-care expert of Spring-Green Lawn Care based in Plainfield, Ill. “Don’t get caught in the golf-course syndrome!”
Rod Smith, a Las Vegas lawn professional who has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture Landscape Management and is certified by both the University of Georgia and the International Society of Arboriculture in Turf Grass Management, describes lawn care as an art. Finessing ferns and shaping shrubbery into something truly fantastic is achievable if done on a regular basis.
Watering properly is also a vital piece of the lawn-care puzzle. Smith says watering more infrequently is actually beneficial to the plant, by forcing the root system to seek out ground water. “You strengthen the plant by stressing it out sometimes,” Smith says. “When you water frequently and heavily, the root system gets lazy.”
Beside water and mowing, general tidiness is valued in an attractive yard. However, trimming trees, bushes and shrubs is designed to be a discriminatory process, not an all-out cut fest. “What is recommended is selective pruning. It takes longer, but it’s healthiest for the plant,” says Smith.
Paramount to cultivating a green thumb is learning about the lawn and its plants, says Enger. Armed with the right information, homeowners can avoid confusion and won’t waste money on products that aren’t right for their yards.
© CTW Features