Three steps to get your yard looking its best

      A Hannibal lawn that needs some spring patch-up work.

      Everywhere lush lawns are shedding their winter coats and going green. Unless your lawn looks like mine--a patchy, thatchy, nasty mess.

      I live in a neighborhood where people display their beautiful yards like a badge of honor. Then you get to our home at the end of the cul-de-sac. I just as well have a couple of rusted out junk cars parked in front of the door and Christmas lights hanging from the roofâ??that's how much our sketchy tufts of grass stand out.

      I consulted

      Tom Winking

      , owner of Wink's Lawn Service in Monroe City. He's been in the lawn care business 27 years, so he knows his stuff when it comes to grass. I asked him what homeowners need to do to get their lawns looking their best this spring, and he broke it down to 3 steps:

      1. Aerate your lawn to de-thatch and loosen soil compaction

      2. Fertilize and apply a pre-emergent to prevent crabgrass

      3. Treat with a broadleaf control weeds like dandelion and clover

      It sounds simple enough I guess, but you have to factor in variables. For instance, Winking says it's best to be familiar with your soil so you know the best combination of nitrogen-phosphate-potash to apply. For Hannibal, he recommends 20-4-10. In the Quincy area, he says go with a 15-4-10. Now, you can seed grass in the spring, unless you've applied certain chemicals. Fall seeding is your better bet~and the soil temperature has to be right for germination.

      Too keep track of all the work that needs to be done for optimum results,

      you might try this website

      . It has everything in one convenient location. Or, you could hire a professional if you have enough green to keep your grass green.

      Take care ~Sarah D.