A thick, healthy lawn means fewer weeds and disease problems. No lawn is ever weed and disease free, but they can be minimized through proper practices. These tips are recommended by Natorp’s Nursery:

• Mow higher rather than lower: Your lawn will be happier if you raise your mowing height. Lower mowing puts the lawn under constant stress. Maintaining lawn between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 inches is recommended for most cool season grasses.

• Never remove more than a third of the grass blades each time you mow and throw those clippings back into the turf: Grass blades are mostly water and about 10 to 15 percent nitrogen, so they break down quickly and return nitrogen back to the soil.

• Sharpen the mower blade: Do this on a regular basis, as often as every 12 to 15 hours of use—or at least two or three times during the season. A sharp blade makes a clean cut rather than shredding or tearing the grass blades, which can make the lawn look yellow or brown, as well as susceptible to diseases.

• Change directions each time you mow: Mow north to south one time, then east to west the next. It keeps your grass blades standing upright, rather than laying in one direction.

• Core aerate the lawn: Pulling plugs out of the soil helps to open compacted soils and allow better air flow, water flow and nutrient flow to the roots.

• Water as needed, and do it thoroughly: Most lawns would like one inch of rainfall every 10 days or so. If you need to supplement that inch, do it all at one time with a deep and thorough watering.

• Feed the lawn as needed: Two feedings in the fall are the most important feedings for all cool season grasses. Spring or early summer feedings may be needed depending on the type of grass, as well as weather and soil conditions.

To receive more articles from Cincy Magazine sign-up for a complimentary subscription here: http://bit.ly/1RHuu3g