Tips on Mowing Your Lawn
Mowing keeps your lawn looking neat and presentable instead of like a hayfield. However, it can be detrimental to your grass if proper mowing techniques are not utilized. Here are some things to think about before you cut your grass:
- Cut your grass as long/tall as possible. Longer grass results in longer roots and in turn, healthier grass. Cutting at a height between three and four inches will optimize the health of your lawn.
- Never cut more than one third of the length of the grass at one time. Imagine cutting a tree at half its height. There is no way the tree would survive. Grass operates the same way. Strive to cut a little bit off of the top as often as possible, rather than allowing the grass to grow long and chopping a large portion of the blade off.
- Dull mower blades are incredibly strenuous to grass, so keep your blades sharp. When the tip of a grass blade looks like it has been ripped rather than cut, it is time to sharpen your blades.
- Avoid cutting during extreme heat or when the grass is wet. Mowing during either of these times can put the lawn’s health in danger.
Watering Your Lawn
Water is the source of all life, making it one of our most valuable resources. Practicing good watering habits keep your lawn thick and green, but it can also help conserve this precious resource, and keep you from literally pouring money down the drain. Here are some tips to have in mind when considering your watering habits:
- If you have an irrigation system, do not run the same clock year round. Learn how to manipulate your system, and do so often.
- Your lawn needs different amounts of water depending on the weather. Pay close attention to the forecast and only supply your lawn with water as needed.
- In ideal conditions your lawn would receive an inch to an inch and a half of rain water per week in 60-75 degree temperatures. Needless to say, this is not often the case in New England. You can compensate for the varying weather by applying more water during the hot months and less water during long periods of rain.
- It is beneficial to your lawn to water infrequently. DO allow your lawn to suffer a little before watering. This will make your grass stronger and more able to sustain itself under stress that you do not have control over.
- Apply a Moisture Manager to the lawn. The humectants in the Moisture Manager will bond with the roots of the grass and help draw moisture from the soil, conserving water and reducing drought stress.
- During the summer months water every 3rd day for 35-40 minutes per zone in the early morning.
Thatch is the layer of partially and non-decomposed plant material between the soil surface and green grass. Thatch of 1” or more is likely to harbor DISEASE & INSECTS which increases the chance of damage.Excessive thatch can prevent water adsorption into the soil, causing drought stress in the lawn. Here are a few helpful tips regarding thatch;
- Do not allow the lawn to grow too tall before mowing. Cutting off more than 1/3 of the length of the blades during mowing will leave too much decaying material and add to the thatch layer
- Core Aeration is highly recommended for a lawn with excessive thatch. The aeration process enables air and water to reach the grass roots, and increases decomposition of the thatch layer
- Apply Moisture Manager to the lawn. The surfactants in the moisture manager will help water move through the thatch layer quicker and easier.
Is your lawn turning brown even though you have been watering properly and consistently?
It may NOT be drought. It may be DISEASE. Hot, humid days and warm, damp nights create the perfect climate for Lawn Diseases like Brown Patch, Red Thread and others.
Check the Soil Moisture: dig down about 3-4” with a shovel. If the soil is damp it is most likely a lawn disease, not drought. See below for further information on common lawn diseases and remedies.
- Thinned patches of light brown grass that are roughly circular in shape
- Affected areas ranging in diameter from a few inches to several feet
- Large areas of the lawn becoming thinned and eventually killed with no circular patch being evident
- Small, tan spots or lesions with dark brown borders on the grass blades