Is “the grass is always greener on the other side,” literally? Lawn care starts to become an issue around this time of year, and it’s easy to get frustrated by the sight of browning grass in the yard. But keeping it healthy is a lot easier than we think. Here are some easy tips to keep your lawn looking beautiful.

Do not overwater

As tempted as you may be to dump insane amounts of water in an attempt to revive your yard, stop yourself. We’re going for long, luscious grass, and not a lake. Be smart about the water days and time. Give turf grass about a 20 minute watering time and give the mist zones about 10 minutes. Give the grass a day or so to soak the water in and become “thirsty” for more. Force your grass roots to dig deeper into the soil. As the top layer becomes bone dry, weeds up there will dry up and die.

Fertilize in moderation

Find fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen, which stimulates vigorous growth and produces a deeper, green color, and low in salt. Sodium causes soil to become poorer and poorer. Healthy soil is packed with macrobial and microbial life and most of those little guys do not like salt. Moderation is the key here. Too much fertilizer can kill your lawn completely or turn it into a jungle.

Eliminate the critters

By critters, we mean the uninvited guests. Grubs in particular eat grass roots, which cause the grass to die in spots. Army worms are another pest that kills grass, and they can literally be seen eating and killing the grass. The most common lawn pest are fire ants. These aggressive bugs build mounds cause damage the turf and leave a nasty bite to family members. Identify the turf damaging insect and use effective treatments to eliminate these pests.

Mowing height

Your lawn is stressed. Go ahead and take a step back and mow as little as possible. And if you do feel the need to mow, mow on the highest setting (3-4 inches). This promotes deeper rooting, maintains turf quality, and allows the grass to store water and photosynthesis.

Soil management

To have a beautiful and lush lawn, the magic happens right below the surface. Topdressing, aerating, de-thatching, composting, and liming are essential for lawn care. Composition of the soil determines it’s water holding capacity and ability to transfer nutrients. In addition, a healthy soil allows root systems to develop and grow. This deep extensive root system is what the grass will use to draw it’s energy from during a drought.

Disabuse yourself of any notion you may have that grass is simply plain ol’ grass, and that is all there is to it. In fact, there’s lot more to it than that. If all else fails, head down to your local paint shop and consider painting your yard green- that’s a surefire strategy