1) Get your soil tested for about $15 through the Cornell Cooperative Extension. “If the soil is too acidic or alkaline, the plants can’t absorb nutrients,” says Richard Heller, owner of Greener by Design in Pelham.
2) Water religiously. A lawn needs an inch of water every week, says Mario Colanduono of Neave Group Outdoor Solutions.
3) Don’t over-fertilize. It can burn roots and cause nitrogen and phosphorus runoff into waterways. “We have become too chemically dependant with lawn care,” Heller says.
4) Mow regularly. Dave Lowrey of North Castle Landscaping and Tree Service says that, in the spring, lawns should be cut every five to seven days; in July and August, you can get by with mowing every other week.