A lot of problems with lawns during the summer months can be traced back to poor maintenance of that lawn. This could be in the form of mowing, improper watering, lack of nutrients and too much shade to name a few. The following are a few tips that might help the average homeowner take better care of their lawn.
On occasions, Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate in providing enough water at the right time throughout the growing season. At times when the rains don't fall you may want to consider additional water. If this is the case, to get the best results, water deeply in the early morning.
Deep AND infrequent watering reaches the roots, where healthy grass comes from. Your lawn needs about 1" - 2" of water a week to survive. Providing more than 1" - 2" of water through irrigation not only is wasteful, but it may cause problems for the lawn.
Don't water the street, sidewalk, or driveway!
Despite what some marketing folks say, all turf grasses have to have enough light to grow. A few grasses will tolerate slightly less light per day than others, but that doesn't mean they will grow in constant shade.
Homeowners often don't realize the tree they planted 10 years ago has matured and may now be shading the lawn to such a degree that the turfgrass can't survive. If this is the case prune trees and shrubs to let sun and air circulate. This helps promotes growth and discourages disease and opportune weeds.
Mow grass to the proper height with a mower with a sharp blade. Never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade when mowing. Grass needs the surface area of the blade to sustain itself. Removing too much of the blade creates an environment ripe for disease.
Don't blow grass clippings into the street. They end up in the storm sewer and only add additional nutrients to already nutrient laden streams and rivers.
If you mow your own lawn have your mower checked each season to insure it has a sharp blade. Professionals sharpen their blades multiple times throughout the growing season. While for the average homeowner that isn't necessary, but the blade should be balanced and professionally sharpened each year.
A sharp mower blade insures the turf grass is sheared off and not smashed, which is what happens when a dull blade is used to cut the lawn, creating a ragged edge the opens the plant to disease infection.
Soil compaction can be the result of too much foot traffic in the lawn, repeated flooding of the area, or anything that kills of micro-organisms naturally found in healthy soils. Once the micro-organisms have been depleted from the soil, that soil is no longer a vibrant living soil, but has become a waste-land that only the most robust plants can survive, which in the lawn, those are weeds.
There are several ways of correcting compacted soils, all of which involve adding organic material to the lawn that encourages microbe growth depending on the cause.
If it's caused by too much foot traffic, encourage the kids to play in different spots if you can. Too much flooding, install drainage systems or anything that prevents water from standing. Improving organic levels in your soil can also be helped by not bagging lawn clippings as well as chopping fallen leaves in the fall.
One of the fastest ways of doing this is through multiple core aeration treatments. Contact us today if you feel your soil has become compacted and the best way of correcting this problem.