Angie's List: Getting and maintaining the perfect lawn - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Angie's List: Getting and maintaining the perfect lawn

WISCONSIN (WKOW/ANGIE'S LIST) -- The recent wet weather has lawns in Southern Wisconsin a vibrant green, but keeping them that way all summer can be a challenge.

In many Madison-area yards, weeds are taking over.  So how do you keep and maintain a lush, green lawn?

Many seek professional help, but all contractors are not created equal.  Just ask Denise Wallace.  She enjoys her yard, but didn't have the time to keep up on lawn maintenance.

She hired a company to do it for her, but wasn't satisfied with the results.

"We never really actually saw them spray the yard, there would just be a little sign in the yard that said they had done the spraying and on the yard itself the weeds would be brown at the tip, but they would never go away," Wallace said.

Wallace called several times, asking the company to take care of it and come back and retreat, but the stubborn weeds stuck around.

"When it comes to lawn care you typically aren't even home as a consumer when the job is done so unfortunately we hear horror stories where the company didn't actually do what they said they were going to do, or they actually damaged the lawn so you want to be sure you have a good company that knows what they're doing," Angie Hicks, with Angie's List said.

Fertilizing your lawn is worthwhile in any climate and helps your lawn stay healthy, but how can you be sure the company is applying the treatment?

"Fertilizer granule colors are usually white or yellow, sometimes they can be purple or aqua color, but typically white or yellow are the ones you are going to see," lawn contractor Marcus Hoone said.

Hoone says they're usually the size of cat litter. You can also watch for spreader tracks in the grass.

After a treatment, weeds should curl up in about a week or two. Experts recommend getting at least three estimates before hiring a contractor. They should come to your home and personally evaluate the yard. You should also get a written document covering what will be done at each scheduled application.

"It's going to be a long term relationship," Hicks said. "A beautiful lawn is not made overnight, so you want to establish a relationship with a reputable company."

Early on in that relationship, she says you'll want to be there while the company is working. That way you can ask questions and learn the best way to care for your lawn.

Also, keep in mind, fertilizer adds nitrogen to your lawn. If you add too much, you can dry out your grass and kill it. If you see yellow or brown spots where the grass has died, you over-fertilized.

Be careful using pesticides as well and check the ingredients in the product you are using. Some can be very harsh on the lawn and cause damage.



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