We have come across many lawns in recent weeks that have been mowed under stressed conditions causing grass blades to wilt out and the lawn to have an overall unsightly appearance. (see pictures below)
Mowing is the #1 maintenance practice that effects the look of your lawn. Mowing while the lawn is drought stressed and/or while temperatures are at their daily peak can cause wilting of delicate grass blades. The good news is grass plants normally recover once regular watering begins and the plant can produce new leaves.
Tip #1 – Only mow AS NEEDED!
Most lawn will need to be mowed every 4-5 days in the spring to keep up with growth but once the lawns naturally slow their growth in the hot, summer months mowing will NOT be needed every week especially if the lawn is not being watered on a consistent basis.
Tip #2 – Give the lawn a deep watering at least a day or 2 prior to mowing.
On clay soil, water DEEP & INFREQUENTLY!
There is a big difference between the lawn getting wet versus the lawn actually being watered properly. Not watering long enough to get water to the roots of your lawn is the equivalent to pulling a hose out to a tree and spraying the leaves (pointless!) Plants take water up from their roots, so when we water we must water long enough to get water down to the roots.
We recommend 1 ½ inches of water per week, and for lawns established on clay soil it is best to drench the lawn in one, deep early morning soaking. (If the lawn is too big to water the entire lawn before the wind starts to pick up and effect the sprinklers coverage, split the yard up into different days of the week.)
Lawns on sandy/loam soils need to water a bit more frequently since those soils drain fast than clay. Three waterings per week of a half inch of water each will give lawns on sandy/loam soils their 1 ½ inches.
Tip #3 – Remember, our lawns are made of COOL-SEASON GRASS TYPES!
There is a reason lawns look their best in spring & fall when the daytime temps are in the 60’s and the nighttime temps are in the 40’s. It’s because the lawns in our region are made up of cool-season grass types.