Cultural practices for turfgrass management may sound like something that is only for the pros, but it’s actually a term even the average homeowner should understand. To have an attractive and healthy lawn, observing cultural best practices is essential. Below are four staple practices that will help you maintain your turfgrass.

Mowing– Always follow the 1/3 rule: Never remove more than 1/3 of the height of grass in one mowing. It is better to mow more frequently than to remove a large portion of grass at one time. Also remember to keep your mower blades sharp to avoid excessive damage to the plant.

Irrigation– Be mindful of the type of turfgrass you have and the conditions. One-size-fits-all irrigation is not the best use of water. Pay attention to rainfall amounts and variations in irrigation needs for areas which receive more or less sunlight due to shade or water retention. A “light and frequent” approach helps minimize chances of leaching or over-watering.

Fertilization– Applied in the right amounts at the right times, nitrogen is beneficial to turfgrass health. Cool season grass applications should occur three times (in April/May, August/September and in October/November) and warm season grasses should receive applications in the months of April through September. Always follow manufacturer recommendations.

Cultivation– Aeration, dethatching and topdressing can all greatly improve the health and appearance of your turfgrass. Be sure you understand your grass type and seek out the proper timing of these practices and if they are appropriate for your lawn.