It’ll take more than sweet talk and a whole lot less than daily maintenance to keep the grass green and healthy on your side of the fence. Keeping your lawn healthy and manicured comes down to finding that happy medium, in which it has everything it needs for its best chance to thrive. Even under ideal circumstances, there may come times when it best to call in reinforcements. But when your lawn is at or near where you want it to be, there are several best practices you should tackle yourself.
In order to have a healthy lawn, you'll need high soil quality. Your soil supplies some of the nutrients that turf grass needs, but most soils are not able to provide all of them during the entire growing season. Fertilizer can help your lawn stay healthy, encourage leaf and root growth, increase resistance to drought and disease, reduce troublesome weeds, aid in recovering lost nutrients and help the lawn recover from numerous activities.
When to Water
The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning. Water deeply and infrequently. Apply 1-1.5 inches of water per irrigation. Determine how long this takes by setting several shallow containers in different areas of the lawn for 30 minutes while irrigating. The average depth of water in these containers multiplied by two is the inches of water per hour emitted by the sprinkler system. Established lawns will require 2.5 inches of water or more per week. During the heat of summer, we recommend increasing this amount.
Mow Like a Pro
Mowing is a vital cultural practice to all types of turf. Improper mowing can result in a reduction of water absorption to roots, a cessation of root growth, a reduction of carbohydrate production and storage, and can create entry points for disease development.
We recommend a setting your mower height to 3". Only cut the top 1/3 of the grass blades at any one time, even if this means you have to mow again after several days. This is because longer grass blades can grow and support more roots and develop a deeper root system that is better able to find water and nutrients in the soil. Cutting too aggressively, forces grass plants to focus their energy on regrowing their blades, not deepening their roots. Mowing frequency depends on growth rate. In the spring, your lawn is growing faster, so you may need to mow every 3-4 days. When turf growth is slow, you may only need to mow every 7-10 days.
It's recommended to mow a lawn in the early evening, when the lawn is usually dry and the sun not as intense. This allows gives the turf grass amble time to recover before the heat of a new day arrives.
For the cleanest cut, keep your mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear up grass, causing ragged, brown edges. Continuous use of a dull mower blade will also cause the lawn to weaken over time, making it more susceptible to stress from disease, insect damage and drought.
Share the Load
When either you or the progress isn’t present, it’s time to call for help. Our team at Fit Turf is there for you to keep your lawn health when you can’t do it yourself. And we can also turn around turf you might feel is a lost cause.
These are just a few best practices to give your lawn the best chance to thrive. Explore more of our Resources section for more information on how your lawn health year round.