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5 Expert Lawn Care Tips: An Interview with Rudy Mora of G&J Lawn Care and Maintenance

By Rudy Mora

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

G&J Lawn Care and Maintenance is family owned and operated. We have been in business, serving the greater Albuquerque area since 1996. We specialize in complete property maintenance, including grounds maintenance, irrigation design/repair, landscape installation, janitorial, power washing and parking lot sweeping.

What's something that most people don't know about lawn maintenance that they should know?

Healthy lawns start with good soil. All the time, money, effort and products in the world will not help a lawn with bad soil. Everything about the lawn begins and ends with the soil. There is a universe of organisms down there, each with their specific function to break down minerals and organic matter and make them available to the grass's roots. If you're wondering where to begin in the world of lawn care, have your soil tested.

Is there a specific length that grass should be cut? Why this length?

The most common problem in lawn care today is people mowing their lawn too short. The golden rule is to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at any given time. When grass is mowed too short it becomes stressed. Stressed grass not only needs time to recover, it cannot properly photosynthesize and re-grow. Mowing too short can also cause scalping which creates a vector for weeds and contributes to an unhealthy lawn.

What is mulch and what should be done with it?

Mulch is any type of material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and make the garden bed look more attractive. Organic mulches also help improve the soil's fertility, as they decompose.

What is the smartest approach to watering and fertilizing lawns for homeowners in the Albuquerque/New Mexico area?

The goal is to apply 1/2" of water during each of the watering days in the warmest months from May through September, with less needed in the cooler months in early spring and late fall. We recommend fertilizing your turf early spring, late spring summer and winter. Lastly always water in accordance with government guidelines.

What advice can you give people about aerating their lawn?

The best time for aeration is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Ideally, aerate the lawn with cool season grass in the early spring or fall and those with warm season grass in the late spring.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

You can reach me directly on my cell at 505-991-0196.

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