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Establishing a healthy lawn in Pennsylvania

The place we now call Pennsylvania was populated by Native tribes such as the Lenape, Susquehannock, Iroquois, Erie, Shawnee, Arandiqiouia, and others before colonization in 1681. These native peoples had primarily been decimated by disease or driven out before permanent colonial residents began arriving. William Penn received a royal charter establishing Pennsylvania as a colony in 1681 from King Charles of England. Pennsylvania is known as the cradle of liberty and birthplace of our nation. Our founding fathers met in Philadelphia, where they signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The City of Brotherly Love was even our nation’s capital for a brief time.

Did Penn have a green thumb?

When it comes to flora and fauna, even the name Pennsylvania, literally “Penn’s Woods,” evokes a picture of lush forest greenery. It must follow that PA is an easy place to cultivate a healthy lawn, right? Not so fast my friend.

How’s the weather?

The old saying that says, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes” definitely applies to Pennsylvania. All four seasons are well represented, with hot, humid summers, mild autumn weather, and cold and potentially snowy winters. Spring is short with winters seeming to drag on into early April.

On the sunny side

The changeable weather creates a challenge for the homeowner wanting to show off his thick and lustrous lawn to his Pennsylvania neighbors. Recommended seed mixes for the establishment of new lawns in Pennsylvania would be blends of Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. The percentage depends upon the balance of sun and shade your yard receives. For slightly shaded lawns, the Kentucky bluegrass should make up 40-60 percent of the mix, fine fescue 30-40 percent, and the perennial ryegrass 10-20 percent. The diverse mixture helps the grass to thrive under varying conditions.

How dry I am

If drought is an issue, or you want a low maintenance grass, consider a turf type tall fescue. Avoid the variety called Kentucky 31, which is coarse and clumpy. Tall fescue should be planted alone, as it's unique light green color and texture can clash with finer turfgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue.

A bit shady

For a lawn that is more shaded, adjust your mixture. Try 50-60 percent fine fescues, 30-40 percent Kentucky bluegrass and 10-20 percent of the perennial ryegrass.

Let the buyer be aware.

Rather than trusting brands or general statements on labels, look for the species of grass, and the percentages used of each. Also, the germination test date is recommended to be within nine months of the purchase of your grass seed. The results of the test should show the germination percentage to be a minimum of 80 percent, but higher is better.

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Keeping your Pennsylvania lawn pristine

Once you've established that perfect carpet of grass, then what? Save time that you can spend enjoying Pennsylvania by using Lawn Love's lawn care services.


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