Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2001
Regional Report

Thin Tree Branches


If you have a shady area where you want to grow lawn increase the amount of light to that area by limbing up existing tree branches and thinning out bushy growth. Properly trimmed trees look beautiful and can provide enough light to grow shade-loving grass or groundcovers.

Loosen Soil


Compacted soil makes it hard to repair damaged lawn areas. To remedy the situation, before planting use a rototiller over the existing lawn, incorporate some organic matter to improve the nutrient value and texture of the soil, then reseed the area with lawn seed.

Fertilize New Lawns


Fertilizer is an important consideration when establishing a new lawn. New lawns grow best when they are given a "starter" fertilizer. These types of fertilizers contain a generous amount of phosphorous that helps establish strong roots.

Leave Grass Clippings

Leave your grass clippings on the surface of an established lawn after you mow. Lawn clippings are about 80% water, so they will dehydrate very quickly and decompose into the soil. Mow frequently so that the clippings are short and decompose quickly.

Clean Mowers


Clean your mower after each use for best performance and to prevent spreading disease. Wash the underside of the deck then wipe it clean with a dry rag. To prevent grass from sticking to the deck, spray it with a fine coat of vegetable oil. Check the oil level on four-stroke engines each time you use the mower by removing the dipstick and inspecting it carefully. If the oil is clean but low, add more. If the oil is dirty, drain it while the engine is warm, and replace it.

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