Tips For Having and Keeping a Great Looking Lawn.
MOW IT RIGHT
- Try not to remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at one time. If you need to mow more than 1/3 then do it by making multiple passes with the mower with a gradual lowering of the blade height for each pass.
- Recycle grass clippings. Grass clippings decompose quickly and returns nutrients back to the soil making it a natural fertilizer. The best way to recycle grass clippings is by getting a mulching kit for your mower and mulching blade.
- Keep mower blades sharp. The physical act of mowing places stress on lawns. Although grass is a resilient plant and is able to take some abuse , consistent mowing with dull blades will eventually weaken your lawn and make it more susceptible to disease and pests.
- Occasionally change mowing directions. Changing the mowing direction occasionally will vary the angle of cut keeping the grass from being trained to lay down the same direction.
- Don't mow when the lawn is wet. Mowing a lawn when wet tends to tear the grass blade rather than slicing it. Again the added stress of tearing the grass makes it more susceptible to diseases and other pests.
- Keep lawn length taller during the hottest months of the season. Keeping your grass taller during the hotter months helps keep the soil cooler and aids in the retention of water in the soil. Also, keeping the soil shaded prevents weed seeds to receive sunlight thus making it difficult for them to germinate.
FEED IT RIGHT
- Know what nutrients your soil needs are. There are some nutrients that all lawns need like Nitrogen. But other nutrients in the soil play an important role in the process of growing a healthy and fantastic lawn. The best way to know for sure what other nutrients your lawn maybe lacking is to do an extensive soil test. All too common however is this never done. But like a doctor who needs to know the illness before prescribing a medicine certain tests need to be run. For a reasonable fee the Utah State University Extension Lab can analyze your soil and provide you with the details on how to improve the quality of your soil.
- Follow Label's Directions and Warnings. It's important to apply the correct application rate for fertilizers or other chemicals. Over applying a fertilizer or herbicide can damage your lawn or cause toxic dangers to the environment. Under applying will not be effective and a waste of money. Always read the label in its entirety. Make sure you have adjusted your equipment so it applies the application rate indicated on the label.
- Fertilize at least four times a season. The general rule of thumb is to apply 4 pounds of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn over the course of a season. The recommendation is to make 4 applications per season at a rate of 1 pound of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet with each application. A standard time of application is early spring, late spring or early summer, late summer or early fall, and late fall.
- Identify the problem before applying herbicides. Many of the same symptoms for lawn problems can come from a variety of causes. Some of these causes can come from diseases or pest while others can be user causes of improper applications of fertilizers, watering, etc. Most of the user caused problems can be avoided if the tips outlined here are understood and followed to a greater extent. If it is determined to be a specific diseases or pest make sure the right kind, application rate, and timing of the chemical is applied.
WATER IT RIGHT
- Install an Automatic Sprinkler System. In this day an age to conserve water and properly water your lawn an automatic sprinkler system is almost essential. Today's automatic sprinkler systems and controllers are more technologically advanced with sensors that can automatically adjust to watering based on weather and moisture content of soil.
- Deep Root Water. Deep root watering refers to training the root system to grow deeper into the soil in search of water thereby creating a strong and healthy root system for your lawn.
- Water at the right times. Watering during the hottest times only wastes water and doesn't adequately infiltrate the soil before being evaporated. The beneficial watering times for your lawn are during cooler times of the day.
- Make Proper Watering Adjustments. Make adjustments on the frequency and duration of watering during the course of the season. During the Spring and Fall the weather is cooler and it tends to rain more. During these climatic conditions the frequency between watering can be longer and watering duration shorter. During the hot Summer however, the frequency between watering should be shorter and watering duration longer. Click Here to see a watering guide for our area.
- Water Cycling. Soil types in our area are either more on the clay (thick) side or sandy(loose) side. Just letting the water run for an extended period of time per zone is only wasting water. For clay soils run-off occurs. For sandy soils water just runs down past the root zone and again waste water. Water cycling is the process watering your lawn by going through the cycle of watering each area of the lawn frequent times but with shorter lengths of time. For instance, instead of watering an area for 1 hour at one time set your sprinkler system to cycle to that area 4 times at 15 minutes each time.
- Aerate in early Spring or early Fall. Do not Aerate your lawn in Summer. In the Summer your already stressed lawn is not at a state were it can recover from the stress created by aerating.
- Aerate when the soil is damp. Aerate following a rainy day or after watering the night before. This allows the Aerator machine to easily remove the plugs from your grass.
- Fertilize after Aerating. Wait to do your early Spring or Early Fall fertilizer application right after doing the aeration. This allows the fertilizer immediate access to the root zone of your lawn.
- Do a double pass Aeration. A better job of aerating a lawn requires at least 12 to 18 holes per square. Making a double-pass across your lawn will insure you reach this optimum level.
- Leave the plugs. Leaving the plugs is recommended only because these plugs just decompose at returns nutrients back to the soil.