Tips from Toby: The solution to stubborn lawn problems

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Our lawns look great now, but so many lawns tend to fail during the summer. You can prevent that with proper fertilization, proper mowing and proper watering. 

Despite the late season snowstorms and tons of rain over the past couple of months, our lawns are already showing stress just from lack of rain over the past week.

Even though you've had to mow almost twice a week you can see signs of stress in the lawns all over town.

"The ground is still dry and a lot of that rain that came early in the season ran off," says Brian Linch with Hummert International. "So get out and look at your lawn. Everybody's situation is different but if you see cracks in the lawn it needs to be watered. Any time grass discolors it's under stress. And usually at this time of year it's under stress from lack of moisture because it is growing so fast."

It's important to get a rain gage or at least check Gary Lezak's rain totals for your area. Starting next week our lawns are going to need two inches of water per week and if Mother Nature isn't providing it, you'll need to.

It's also time to feed our lawns. Don't just go out and pick out any old fertilizer. Make sure you are buying the right fertilizer for our grasses in Kansas City. Normally the national brands will have twice the amount of fertilizer. It brings on a lot of top growth but it weakens the root system.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions and my lawn program. Too much or too little fertilizer is horrible for your lawn. You need to mow at the proper height, water properly and feed your lawn properly to have success. You can't pick and choose one and not do the other or you will have disease problems and an ugly lawn. The good news is that these are easy things to do and just by following these three essentials you will have one of the best lawns on the block.

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