Easy steps to landscaping challenges
There are some relatively easy solutions to common landscaping challenges which can greatly improve a yard.

There’s one in every neighborhood— the house with the bright green grass, perfectly trimmed shrubs and flowers in full bloom.

As you look at your own lawn, plagued with weeds and sparse patches, you wonder how your neighbor is able to achieve such a beautiful outdoor space. The secret isn’t in how much time or money can be invested, but rather taking the right steps at the right time to eliminate lawn and garden problems.

Here are some common landscaping issues and the easy steps any homeowner can take to correct them:

Sparse, brown lawn

If your lawn is looking sparse and brown, the likely culprit is thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass, leaves and stems which block water and nutrients from reaching the roots. To revive your grass, you need to remove this layer and prime your lawn for strong regrowth.

A dethatcher, also known as a power rake, is the easiest way to get rid of the layer of thatch. Then you’ll want to use an aerator to poke small holes in the dirt so that nutrients, air and moisture can get to the roots. These two pieces of equipment are critical for repairing sparse, brown lawn, but purchasing them outright is costly. Consider renting them from your local American Rental Association rental store. Find the one nearest

you by www.RentalHQ.com.

Weeds

No single method will eliminate all weeds, so the best action really depends on what types of weeds you have. Here are some tips on the most common:

¦ Dandelion—It’s imperative to dig out dandelions before they go to seed. You can also spot treat dandelions with a broadleaf weed killer. If you do this, make sure your product does not kill grass.

¦ White clover—This weed can spread quickly on undernourished lawn. Combat by watering regularly and applying nitrogen fertilizer. You can also use a broadleaf weed killer for spot treatments.

¦ Crab grass—If it is early in the season, consider applying a pre-emergence crabgrass herbicide. Because crabgrass thrives on shorter lawns, set your mower to a higher setting, about 2.5 to 3 inches.

Overgrown hedges, shrubs, trees

Meticulously trimmed hedges and trees make a yard look perfectly manicured. The tools of the trade will make

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