Do you take great pride in your lawn?  It really is a gratifying experience to have a perfectly manicured lawn that people actually stop their day to compliment you on!  I want to share all my hard-earned hacks with you!

I know, it can feel like achieving a perfect green, weed-free lawn in New Jersey is as likely as catching a unicorn.  However, there are some expert hacks that you may not know that could easily get your house confused for a golf course.

First, you need to know how low to go.  This is super important!  We're already well past the first mow of the season but for that one you want to go a bit low. Don't scalp your lawn by any means but you can lower the blade to get a closer mow (2.5 - 3 in).  Why? You want to suck up any debris from last season like old clippings, pine needles and what I call "lawn garbage" like those annoying helicopters.  This kicks up all the settled stuff and sucks it away.  Ahhhh a clean slate.

Here is my backyard after the close cut.

Next, in two weeks cut again but now raise the blade to 3.5 or 4 inches.  You are going to keep it longer for the lion share of the summer.  The reason for that is the longer length protects the lawn from burning due to higher temperatures and sun beating down on it.  Also, if you do invest in a lawn striping kit (I highly recommend it) you will get that amazing bend in the grass at that length, making your lawn look like a professional ball field. Those kits run about $160 bucks and are worth their weight in neighbor compliments. This is the one I bought and it rocks.

Water your lawn at night so the sun does not evaporate it right away.  Don't over-water....10 mins per section will do it. Also, you need to do the additives just like if you are a bodybuilder you have to take supplements. Your lawn needs lime to get really green.  You also have to get the weeds BEFORE they surface with a great pre-emergent.  I go with a company for this (True Green or the like) so you don't have to think about chemistry.  Make sure to lightly water after application to help it sink in!

Photo credit: Shannon Holly
Photo credit: Shannon Holly

Last but not least you HAVE aerate your lawn!  I do it the first or second week in September and once the divets are pulled out (little pegs of soil) you also need to over-seed the lawn with a high-end seed (avoid Ryegrass...there seems to be too many weeds mixed into that variety).  Kentucky blue and tall fescue are a really nice mix. Show off and send me your lawn pics!

Here are some things I know you grew up with in your New Jersey home!

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