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For gorgeous grass next season, start with soil, end with seed

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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(ARA) - Summer is winding down and soon it will be time to drain the gas from the lawn mower and safely store the string trimmer. You may feel like summer yard work is done for another year. But don't turn your back on your lawn just yet.

Take care of some essential lawn chores this fall and you'll reap the rewards next spring

— in the form of a lush, healthy, beautiful lawn. In fall, lawn grasses need to become especially strong as the weather cools. Give them some TLC now, and your lawn will reap the benefits over the winter and into next spring. During the fall, your lawn is getting ready to go dormant for the winter. Your grass will rely on its roots throughout the winter season to obtain nutrients until spring.

Following these five (surprisingly fast) simple steps will ensure a sensational start to lush lawns next spring.

1. Start with the soil and aerate — The healthier your soil is the healthier your grass will be. Good, aerated soil will make room for water, nutrients, air and roots to move with ease. Aerated, healthy soil will hold water like a sponge, but at the same time promote drainage. Aerating also creates a good environment for the micro-organisms, worms and other life forms necessary for healthy turf. Without good soil you will find yourself doing lots of weed control and over-fertilizing.

2. Don't delay dethatching

— Thatch is the layer of dead grass that settles in between the soil surface and the green foliage of the grass. Too much thatch interferes with nutrient and water absorption. To gauge thatch's thickness, take a 6-inch-deep plug of sod and soil from the lawn and measure the thickness of the packed thatch. If your thatch layer is more than 1/2 inch thick, your grass will struggle to grow.

3. Supply soil conditioners — Also called soil amendments, soil conditioners added to soil improve plant growth and overall health. Soil conditioners are not fertilizers, but they do improve soil's drainage and some will also increase the water holding capacity of your soil.

4. Sow your seeds — Sowing grass seed will increase turf density and improve the overall health and appearance of your lawn. Seeding in the fall helps the lawn recover from heavy summer traffic and it influences the lawn's look for the following spring. A dense lawn is also the best natural defense against weed and insect damage. For a wide variety of grass seed choices specifically formulated for your geographic region visit

An increasingly popular addition to backyard beauty is planting wildflowers instead of grass in hard to maintain, problem spots, like slopes and banks. offers a wide variety of blends for nine areas of the country, from the rainy Northeast to the dry Southwest. Adding wild-flower seed this fall to your backyard will add beauty and diversity to your landscape next spring.

5. The easy way is the better way — When it comes to labor intensive fall lawn chores like aerating, dethatching, and soil conditioning, brute force isn't necessarily the best, most efficient way to get the job done. You could rent a core aerator to pull up finger-sized cores of soil, but it takes a strong back and plenty of time to manage the heavy equipment. If your lawn is small enough, you can do the dethatching job using a thick-bladed thatching rake. But bigger lawns call for a power thatching mower. Soil conditioning is easier, yet still time-consuming.fry a labor-free, easy, all-natural option that's a liquid product, like LazyMan Liquid Gold. You can tackle the tasks of aerating, dethatching and soil conditioning with a hose-end sprayer in a matter of minutes.

Non-toxic and all natural, LazyMan Liquid Gold's polymers penetrate* hard soil and alternately attract or repel water molecules, opening pathways to allow free passage of moisture and nutrients. A brew of microbes feeds on dead plant tissue in the thatch layer, reducing thatch by half with just three applications at four-week intervals. Finally, humic acids and soil fungi promote soil fertility and plant growth.

After one-step spraying of LazyMan Liquid Gold, you've already accomplished three essential fall lawn care tasks. Now, all that's left to do is seed and feed.

By following these simple lawn care practices in the fall, you can put your lawn to bed and sleep easily knowing that when your lawn awakens from winter it will be healthy and super-charged for spring. To learn more about lawn care, visit

Courtesy of ARA content

Copyright 2009 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: August 19, 2009

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