PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –- Even though your annoying neighbor does, it can be hard to find the time and energy to maintain a perfectly manicured lawn. But don’t get discouraged.

Lawn experts tell us there are three easy things you can do to keep your grass looking great: don’t overwater it, don’t cut it too short and use the right fertilizer.

Trimming your grass as short as possible may seem like a good way to save time, but you’re creating more work in the long run.

“If you’re going to cut the grass real short, from a distance, you’re not going to see as much leaf blade, so you’re not going to get as much color,” lawn care company owner Dave Fuss said. “The grass is going to be thinner, so weeds can pop up a lot more, and the sun is going to come down to the soil and dry out the soil more.”

Don’t go crazy with watering, but don’t slack off either. A general rule is to water an inch per week during the active growing season. But you should adjust it throughout the year to operate according to your needs.

“If they have a sprinkler system where they turned it on so they’re watering, say, 15 minutes every day, what happens is when the sprinkler comes on, you’re wetting the turf first,” Fuss said. “Then it works its way down to the base, then when you start to get into watering the actual dirt, the system shuts off.”

Fertilizer is important for healthy, lush growth, but if you apply it incorrectly, you can quickly turn your lawn from green to brown.

“We use dry, slow-release products all year long because we want to slow-feed the turf,” Fuss said. “The granules fall to the base and go directly to the root system whereas when you spray liquid fertilizer, you’re going to coat the leaf blades of the grass, then if you mow, you’re going to mow that off.”

When hiring a professional to help you with your lawn, remember it’s a process. It’s not something that happens overnight. A red flag is a provider that tells you they can fix it overnight.

Highly rated lawn care experts tell Angie’s List you want to keep a sharp mower blade for a nice, clean cut. That means you’ll need to sharpen the blade about three times a year – in the spring, summer and fall.

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