From the Desk of Ed Hume: What Do You Need To Have a Nice Lawn?

June 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM Leave a comment

I am a firm believer that summer is the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your earlier labor!  However, if you are wondering what you need to do to get your lawn in tip-top shape for the summer months ahead, here are a few ideas.

WATERING

How often and how much water does a lawn need?  During the summer, specialists recommend once a week watering.  It is further recommended that you apply one inch of water during that week. However, if there has been a ½ inch of rain during the week, you need only apply another ½ inch of water.  Use a sprinkler that has a coarse spray; avoid using any sprinklers that have a fine mist.  The fine mist blows in the slightest breeze and/or dissipates quickly during hot weather.

FEEDING

One application of a summer type lawn fertilizer is generally recommended.  Apply it according to label directions.  A dry type lawn food should be watered-in after it has been applied.  The exception is ‘Weed and Feed’ type summer lawn products.  Label instructions will specify when your particular brand should be watered-in.  Be careful to over-lap each pass, or you are apt to miss a bit and end up with yellow streaks in the lawn.  Do not apply lawn fertilizer products when it’s windy or even breezy, as airborne dust particles from the fertilizer are apt to burn nearby plants.

CONTROLLING WEEDS

Since I covered this in last week’s article I will keep my comments brief.  If there are only a few weeds use a weed-puller or even a screwdriver to remove them.  If there are lots of weeds it’s up to you, but you might want to use liquid or dry type lawn weed killers.  Likewise, there is a debate as whether anyone should apply lawn weed and feed products.  Weed control products must be applied according to label instructions.

HINTS ON MOWING

In warm climates, mow during the cooler part of the day.

It is recommended that you mow once a week.  My lawn needs mowing once every 5 days to really look nice.  Suggested moving height is about 2 inches or a bit more.  I cut mine at 1 ¼ inches, because it looks nicer and doesn’t seem to fall over as bad.

If you get yellow tips on the grass blades a couple of days after cutting, chances are the cutting blades on your mower needs sharpening.

Should you leave the clippings on the lawn after mowing?  That’s up to you!  It is recommend that you leave the clipping on the lawn, as they decompose and the moisture and nutrients go back into the turf.  My wife says “No,” because too many end up on the carpets and floor in the house.  So at our home, we add our grass clippings to the compost pile.

If you find large brown areas in your lawn, they could be caused by a build-up of thatch between the soil and grass blades.  If the thatch layer is over ½ inch it could keep water and/or fertilizer from penetrating to the soil and grass roots below.  This is not a good time to thatch the lawn, but you can perforate the yellow areas with a pitch fork or perforating tool.

Give the lawn the care it needs and you’ll have a beautiful lawn this summer.

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