You can have a thriving lawn without hiring an expensive service.

“Managing your lawn doesn’t have to be complicated,” says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Justin Keay. “If you understand some of the basic principles and don’t mind putting in a little sweat equity, you can have a beautiful lawn.”

Don’t know where to get started? A free 90-minute class from MU Extension can help. In time for spring, extension horticulturists Keay and Robert Balek will present “Do-It-Yourself Lawncare Essentials” 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, via Zoom.

Keay says simple changes such as raising your mowing height can help suppress up to 80% of lawn weeds. Overseeding your lawn in the fall is an easy way to fill in bare spots and help prevent weeds from taking over. A soil test can help you understand what nutrients your lawn needs—and what nutrients it doesn’t need, so you can avoid applying unnecessary fertilizer that could contribute to water pollution.

“We all have our part to play in protecting our state’s natural resources, including our wonderful rivers, lakes and streams,” Keay says.

“This class will be helpful to new and existing homeowner who are interested in optimizing management of their own lawns,” he adds. “Folks will leave this class with a good grasp on basic lawn care practices and principles as well as the confidence necessary to start effectively managing their own lawns.”

The class is free but advance registration is required. Sign up at

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