How to get the best results out of your Lawn Care program

Having a weed control and fertilizing program for your lawn is the first step to keeping your lawn lush, healthy, green and weed-free for the season.

However, a lawn care program is not magic. There are several things you should do to get the most benefit out of your lawn care package.

Proper Watering

Your lawn is a living organism and needs water to survive. Your lawn also needs to be watered properly to get the best results.

The key to watering your lawn properly is to give your lawn deep and infrequent waterings. This means, water your lawn for a longer duration but not many times during the week. Do not water for short periods of time, many times per week.

Your lawn needs 1.0- 1.5 inches of water per week. This can be done by 2-3 waterings a week of 0.5-0.75 inches each time you water.

Okay, I need 1 inch of water a week. How long do I have to water for? I can’t give a “one-size fits all” answer here because there are so many kinds of sprinklers and underground irrigation systems that perform differently. The only way to know how long you need to water for, is to measure the water coming out of your sprinkler during a watering session.

How do I measure the water? You need to use a rain gauge or container set out at different spots on your lawn to collect the water. An empty tuna can is a suitable container for measuring water. Place the tuna can on your lawn and turn on the sprinkler and a stopwatch at the same time. When the tuna can is filled up with water 1 inch high, stop the stopwatch. This is the amount of time your sprinkler takes to dispense 1 inch of water.

When should I water my lawn?

Early in the morning is the right time to water your lawn. Somewhere between 5 am and 10 am is ideal. When you water your lawn in the morning, the soil can absorb the water and use it with less waste.

What happens if I water my lawn at another time?

If you water your lawn at night, mushrooms, fungus and disease can become a big problem. While most mushrooms are harmless for your lawn, they can be unsightly. However, there are many other fungi and disease that can severely affect your lawn.

If you water your lawn during the day, you will be wasting water. Water takes some time to get down in the soil where it supposed to be, and if you water during the day, much of it can evaporate before it even gets a chance to be used by the grass.

Proper Mowing

There are proper ways to mow your lawn to get the best results from your weed control and fertilizer program, and your cutting height is very important.

Mow it tall! To keep your lawn healthy, you must mow tall and mow often. Your lawn should be kept at a height of 3 inches during the entire mowing season. The types of grass that we grow in our yards are very different than the grass on golf courses. We know that some people want their lawn cut short like a golf course, but simply put, it’s hard on the grass, and your lawn will always struggle if you mow it short (1-2 inches). The absolute shortest your lawn should be mowed during the growing season is 2.5 inches.

A lawn mowed at 3 inches:

 

  • Will require less water than a short lawn. The extra shade provided by longer grass will help protect the lawn from drying out in the heat of the sun.
  • Will have a better appearance by being greener, darker, and thicker.
  • Will be more drought tolerant. A longer lawn will grow deeper roots which will help your lawn during times of extreme temperatures and drought.
  • Will help protect you from weeds. A longer lawn will help shield the soil from weed seeds that will blow into your yard and help choke them out if they try to grow.
  • Will help protect you from insects. Typically, a lawn cut shorter will provide an environment that “lawn-loving” insects will favor.
  • Will be more comfortable on your feet. Longer lawns will be thicker and softer to walk on compared to lawn cut short. A short lawn usually is drier and pricklier which is not fun to walk on, especially for kids.

There are only upsides to mowing tall vs mowing short, so do your lawn a favor, and mow tall!

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