Good mowing and watering practices can make a big difference in the looks and health of your lawn. Plus, by encouraging healthier growth of your grass plants, you’ll be improving your turf’s ability to stand up to insects, disease and stressful summer weather. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- If the blade hasn’t been sharpened in a while, have it done soon. A dull mower blade will shred the tips of grass blades, giving the lawn a brown cast and making it easier for lawn disease to get established.
- Mow often so that you don’t need to remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. Mowing too short can stress your turf, reducing its ability to fend off insects and diseases. Also, taller the grass is, the more shaded the soil will be. This will help to discourage weed seeds from sprouting.
- Avoid mowing wet grass. Mowing when turf is dry is not only safer, but will provide a more even cut.
- Don’t be afraid to leave clippings on the lawn (but don’t overdo it- follow the 1/3 rule). Clipping will return valuable nutrients to the soil.
- Your lawn needs from 1 1/2” to 2” of water per week from rainfall or a sprinkler system.
- It’s better to water less often and deeply than to provide regular, shallow sprinklings. The soil should be soaked a depth of 6” each time.
- Early-morning watering is best, since less moisture will be lost to evaporation from the sun’s heat.
- Remember that your trees and shrubs also need water. They’ll benefit from a long, deep soaking once per week in hot, dry weather.