|Home Owner's Summer Lawn Guide
Improper mowing causes more problems on lawns than any other maintenance practice. Many lawns are mowed too short and/or with a dull mower
blade. Mowing below the optimum height restrict root growth and increases susceptibility to damage from insects, disease, drought, and traffic. Low
mowing also favors weed infestations.
Mowing frequency depends on how fast the grass grows, not the day of the week.
Some lawns may need mowing twice a week during spring/fall and only once every 2-4 weeks during summer (depending on how often
the lawn is being watered).
Grass naturally slows its growth in the summer.
Do NOT mow each week in the summer if you are not watering regularly!!
Mow frequently enough so as not to remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a single mowing. For instance, we recommend most lawns be 3 inches
tall after mowing. Mow when the grass reaches 4 inches in height, removing 1 inch of the blade.
The mower blades must be sharp and may need sharpening 4-6 times a year. To make this easy, buy two sets of mower blades and sharpen both sets
each winter. Put a sharpened blade on before the first mowing and then switch when you notice that the leaf blades are becoming ragged in
appearance, as this is an indicator of a dull mower blade. A sharp blade results in a cleaner and healthier cut, leaving a more attractive lawn. Lawns
mowed with a dull mower blade have poor aesthetics, heal more slowly (increasing the potential for disease development), and have greater water loss.
The lawns in our area require 1-1 1/2 inches of water per week. Before starting to water your lawn, it is important to understand what type of soil your
lawn is established on. Sandy/Loamy soils drain much faster than clay soil, thus requiring more frequent waterings. Most lawns in our service area,
however, are on clay soil. Homeowners with lawns on clay soil should water deep and infrequently. Watering in the early morning will have less drift
from wind for more even coverage. It will also allow the grass blades to dry before evening. Grass that remains wet for long periods of time is more
susceptible to disease development.
Water 1-1 1/2 inches of water per week in one early morning soaking. Soaking a lawn on slow draining clay soil is required to moisten the soil down
to the root zone. Light applications of water that merely wet the grass blades are of little benefit to the turf plant. Light, frequent
waterings on an everyday or every other day basis on clay soil promote shallow rooting and encourage disease and weed problems.
Water 1 1/2 inches of water per week over 2-3 separate waterings (1/2 - 3/4 inches each watering).
Hose-end sprinklers usually apply small volumes of water to a turf grass area. Therefore, most hose-end sprinklers should be left in one location for
two to three hours to thoroughly wet the turf grass rootzone. Automatic, in-ground irrigation systems with spray heads that distribute water in all directs
simultaneously are capable of applying larger volumes of water. To determine the amount of water being applied by any sprinkler, place shallow,
straight-sided containers, such as empty tuna fish cans, in a grid patterns around the sprinkler. Turn the sprinkler on for a specified length of time and
then measure the water collected in the cans with a ruler. This can be used as a guide in determining the amount of water applied.
While most people think a lack of water will damage the lawn, over-watering causes more damage. It is easy to over-water a turf area. Some potential
consequences of over-watering include increased crabgrass pressure, increased disease incidence, shallow rooting, waste of a valuable resource,
and higher water bills. When watering a lawn, it is best to err on the dry side rather than to be guilty of over-watering.