Preparing for the Beautification Watch Awards

by Morgan Looney, Communications Intern

April is beginning to wind down so it’s time to start preparing for another largely anticipated program here at KAB: the Beautification Watch Awards! The Beautification Watch Awards isn’t a competition, but a way for Keep Akron Beautiful to recognize and thank the locals and businesses who care about how their private property looks to others. Properties are nominated during the month of July either by neighbors or KAB volunteers who canvass city routes throughout the month.

Even though July is still two months away, it’s never too early to start preparing your lawn. To help, I’ve compiled some tips to help make sure your lawn looks beautiful and ready when July and the Beautification Watch Awards roll around!

  1. Eliminate broadleaf weeds once they’ve sprouted and ideally before they flower. These include dandelions, white-flowering clover, and big-leaf plantain and can be removed by hand if there are only a few of them. If they are out of control, consider spot treating them by applying natural weed control products. Talk to your local lawn and garden supply experts for assistance.
  2. Feed your lawn. Look for a natural feed from your local lawn and garden supply store experts.
  3. Aerate your lawn. Aerating your lawn improves air-to-soil interaction, allows water and feed to penetrate the soil deeper and easier, reduces soil compaction and also opens space for grass roots to grow and spread, while naturally choking out weed population.
  4. Mow your lawn high and frequently. Mowing your lawn too short can damage the grass and allow weeds to set root. A good rule of thumb is to never cut more than a third of the grass blade.
  5. Keep your mower blade sharp. A dull blade tears the grass, which results in a ragged edge that can make your lawn look grayish brown.
  6. Grass will go dormant in bouts of drought but does not die. Consider it a gift from Mother Nature and skip the mowing. If you must water your lawn, the best time is in the morning rather than at night to eliminate prolonged moisture on the blades, which can leave the grass vulnerable to some diseases.

Now remember, the Beautification Watch Award volunteers do not get out of their cars and check lawns for weeds nor do they go into backyards. They are looking for standout properties that are visible to the public and capture their attention as they drive through neighborhoods. So noticeable flower and shrub beds should be weed free.

For more information about the Beautification Watch Awards, including the criteria used to judge the properties, visit our website. In the meantime, start looking out for properties you think will be deserving of a nomination come July! If you would like to do an entire route of homes and businesses, contact us by email at keepakronbeautiful@akronohio.gov.

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