Angie's List: Top 3 lawn care mistakes

Spring is a crucial time for your lawn. Neglect it now and you'll pay the price for the rest of the year.

Angie Hicks with the consumer guide Angie's List says you don't have to go over the top with your landscaping, but you do need to pay attention to the basics.

"A lot of lawn care jobs we can do ourselves, whether it be yard cleanup or applying mulch," said Lawn Care Specialist Brian Franco. "But when it comes to applying chemicals or pesticides on your lawn keep in mind that you want to have someone that's certified in applying those chemicals."

If you are going to be hiring a professional, have them give you an estimate on site so they can actually see your lawn.

Be leery of anyone suggesting they can make miracles happen overnight because your lawn takes time.

If you have a lawn that is in poor condition, it might take a year or two for the lawn to really show improvement.

Mistake #1:  Dull Blade

It's also important not to neglect your mower because your mower's condition is going to affect how your lawn looks. A bad blade tears the grass, leading to disease.

"Have the blades sharpened, have it tuned up and think about getting into a shop right away because the last thing you want to do is have your lawn mower in the shop when mowing season begins," said Lawn Care Specialist Brian Franco.

Mistake #2:  Crabgrass Preventer Before Seeding

Don't forget the lawn care treatments. A pre-emergent is put on grass which is like a crab grass preventer. It prevents any weeds from growing in your yard. Experts say it also prevents any other seed from growing like grass seed.

"If you are to put your early crab grass preventer down and then come back and a month later and try to get some grass to grow in those dead areas it's not going to grow, so we want to make sure we re-seed first before pre-emergent gets put down," said Lawn Care Specialist Brian Franco.

Mistake #3:  Leaving Some Old Leaves

Many people don't rake in the spring because raking is a "fall sport."  Big mistake. Angie's List says matted down leaves don't decompose (well, maybe in 10 years they will), but more often will kill the underlying grass.

Finally, a word of caution: hospitals and emergency rooms nationwide treat nearly 250,000 people each year, who tangle with lawn mowers, or are burned and even poisoned by lawn chemicals.

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