Suggested Cultural Practices that will enhance your LAWN
These enhancements are a must if you are to maintain a healthy balance in your lawn. And those refer to the mowing, watering, the thatch control and fertilization. There are our four main cultural practices that we deal with lawn care. And the ones the homeowner has direct control over—mainly watering and mowing—we will apply the right fertilizer at the right time and we can provide the processes for reducing thatch through core aeration, but we really rely upon the homeowner to properly mow and water the lawn. We often say that it is a partnership between QLS and the homeowners.
Why should I mow my lawn higher?
Your goal is to try and not remove more than one-third of the grass blade at one time, but that sometimes is impossible, especially in spring when you get rain and the grass is growing rapidly. So if you are mowing it high, you may be removing a little bit more than one-third of the blade at one time, but you are leaving enough of the grass plant that it will continue to stay green and growing. If you look at a grass plant, you’ll notice that the leaf blade at the top is green and is it goes down it gets lighter in color and gets almost white at the base. Well, if you are mowing it short the plant has to reproduce a new grass blade right away—it has no other choice because that’s how it gets more food through photosynthesis through the leaf surface. So it really stops growing everything else—it stops root growth—it stops food storage—so it can grow up a new grass blade. If you continue to mow short week after week, you are actually starving your plantby not allowing it to produce food to build better roots, to build stronger roots and to have a healthier plant.
When is the best time of day to water my lawn?
The best time of day to water is in the early morning, because during the heat of the day you can get more water through evaporation. It won’t hurt the lawn to water during the heat of the day, but watering it from about 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is the absolute worse time to water because you are getting a lot of free or available moisture on the grass plant. And there are lots of disease organisms out in every lawn—that’s just part of nature—and going into the evening when its’ cooler or even if it’s warmer the free moisture allows these spores and these diseases to germinate or to grow and infect the plant. You can really increase your disease activity in a lawn.
QUALITY LAWN SERVICES recommends the following Cultural Practices be followed throughout the growing season:
- Recommended mowing high is 3 inches. With a clean under deck of the mower.
- Mow only with sharp blades – sharpen and change blades on each summer holiday: (Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day)
- Mulch whenever you can, DO NOT BAG if you don’t have too! Clippings are adding vital nitrogen back into the turf.
- Your lawn should receive an equivalent of 1 inch of water per week. This is equal to approximately 2 hours of watering. Do not over water!!! Grubs don’t like moist areas to lay their eggs!
- Change your mowing direction each time you mow to avoid compaction and rutting. Try 2-4 directions (north + south, east + west, and 2 diagonal directions, if possible).
- The best time to mow is late afternoon or early evening – during the cool part of the day is best!
- Consider Aeration and Overseeding every year! This helps with compacted soils and allows for fertilizer, water and air to reach the root system much faster – it’s much more healthy for the grass blades.