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How to get the nicest looking lawn after heavy rainfall in the Pittsburgh area

How to get the best looking lawn
How to get the best looking lawn 03:16

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The weekend is here and so is the season of keeping up with the neighbors and the desire to have a nice looking yard!

KDKA's John Shumway reached out to Penn State's top grass guru for advice on what should be doing and what you should avoid.

From the home of the Little League World Series to turf projects of all sizes, Jeff Fowler knows grass and says that all of the rain we've recently had is a complicating factor.

A lush lawn is a thing of beauty and Mother Nature has done the watering chores a bit too much lately, which can prompt a common mistake. 

Fowler says that as wet as it has been in the Pittsburgh area, the big mistake you can make is to go out and overmow and overtraffick your wet lawns.


He says that overtrafficking it leads to tracking. 

"So let it dry enough that you're not putting ruts into the yard because those ruts will not go away," Fowler said.

As for what pattern to follow, Fowler says to change it up. 

"If you always go the same way you have little skips that you miss each and every time," Fowler said.

When it comes to mowing grass, the ultimate question is whether you should catch the grass, mulch it, or let it fly. 

Fowler says that you can leave the mulcher on, chop them up, refine them, and put them back into the soil -- which is okay as long as you're only taking a third of the blade off at a time.

As for your lawn's condition, if you've got dandelions, you'll want a broadleaf weed killer, which is in most weed and feed products.

"That's the chemical that's in there," Fowler said. "It's a fantastic chemical at controlling dandelions."

If you've got holes in your yard, Fowler says it could be a raccoon or a skunk or even a crow who's coming in to dig and look for a spot for grubs to eat.

Fowler says to wait a few weeks and drop some grub killer and moss. 

"I'm a big fan of lime," Fowler said. "And change the pH of the soil more permanently than a lot of the quick fixes that you see on the market."

How much lime or fertilizer to use is very personal to your lawn, so you'll want to take some soil samples.

"We want to take 15 or 20 samples from a yard, put them in a bucket, mix them up, let them dry, and send them away to the lab. 

You're only sending off a cup or so off soil to be tested. It's $10 and Penn State will get you the result back in 7 to 10 days with directions of how much of what you need.

Fowler says that soil testing is a needed step, otherwise you may be wasting money on items you don't need.

Always follow the bag directions and remember that more isn't better and could be harmful to your lawn. 

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