Proper and consistent watering is one of the most important things you can do to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
Quantity: Your mature lawn should receive roughly 1 to 2 inches of water per week during the hottest, driest months. Deep watering to a soil depth of at least 6 inches is recommended. We recommend that you water the lawn once a week, applying the whole amount at once (ot water twice a week, applying at least half the amount of water at a time). Light watering that merely dampens the grass is of little benefit and can actually harm your lawn. We suggest that you measure the amount of water coming from your sprinkler by placing an empty straight-sided can (e.g. a coffee can) on your lawn, then determine the time it takes the sprinkler to fill the can with one inch of water. This is the time it will take the sprinkler to apply one inch of water to your lawn.
Best Time: Very early morning watering is ideal. Watering during the middle of the day, when the weather tends to be the hottest and driest, can waste water due to excessive evaporation. Evening watering tends to promote disease. Keep in mind that the key to efficient watering is to give your lawn enough moisture to reach the deep roots of the grass plants.
Providing good nutrition on a regular schedule is an important component in keeping your lawn healthy.
Quantity: Grass grows constantly, which means it requires a steady diet of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients. Even though many nutrients occur naturally in the soil, the soil is unable to supply the quantities that the grass plant requires. For that reason, good nutrition for a lawn is the result of a balanced fertilizer program that supplies the right nutrients in the correct amounts at the best time for the lawn. Regular application of fertilizer throughout the growing season builds turf density and keeps weeds from taking over.
Best Time: The ideal fertilization program is one that provides for uniform growth throughout the season. To maintain proper balance, our program includes crabgrass prevention in early spring, weed control un mid to late spring, insect and grub control in early summer, two basic fertilizer applications in mid to late summer, and a winterization in the fall.
Following a few simple rules when cutting the grass will help promote a stress-and-weed resilient lawn with a stronger root system.
Rule One: When cutting, never remove more than one third of the grass blade at one time. Cutting off more than a third of the blade “shocks” the grass plant and forces it to put its energy into regrowing blades of grass instead of roots. It also exposes the lower, shaded parts of the grass plant to sunlight, turning them into an unsightly gray-brown stubble. Mowing more frequently is recommended to prevent cutting more than a third of the grass blade at one time.
Rule Two: Mow the grass at the upper range of the recommended cutting height for your grass. Growing heights vary for each grass species, but the taller you keep the grass, the stronger it will be and the better able it will be to survive periods of stress. This is especially important during the summer, when the taller height also prevents germination of weed seeds and insulates the soil during periods of drought.
Contrary to common wisdom, grass clippings neither add to thatch nor increase chances for disease or weeds to develop. As long as you mow your lawn at the right height and proper intervals, clippings quickly break down without a trace because they are mostly water. As they break down, they contribute nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil and supply it with organic matter. The more you fertilize, the more nitrogen the clippings return to the soil.
Rule Three: Be sure your mower blade is sharp. Sharp blades cut the grass cleanly and help mulch clippings into small pieces which break down quickly. Conversely, dull mower blades shred the grass, leaving a ragged cut at the top of the blade, which gives the lawn a whitish, diseased appearance. We also recommend that you change the direction and pattern each time you mow, as doing so reduces the turf wear from mower wheels.
Fall Tips for Lawns
- Do not allow leaves to remain on your lawn because it prevents adequate sunlight and oxygen from reaching the lawn. If leaves are left on the ground for too long, turf damage may occur.
- The final lawn cutting of the season should be cut low to help prevent snow mold.
- Core aeration of your lawn removes cores of thatch, soil and grass, which relieves soil compaction allowing air, water and nutrients to stimulate new root system growth. This also increases the effectiveness of applied fertilizers.
- A slow release fertilizer is recommended to help develop root growth, which takes place in the fall.