Ever wonder how your neighbor's always have such a perfect looking lawn? In this article we are going to explain how your lawn can look just as nice or even better with just a little TLC!
If there is one single thing you can do to improve your lawn right now, it is to raise your mower blades. When you mow your grass to low, you will notice all kinds of bad things start happening.
Your soil will dry out much sooner than higher mowed lawn, which can make your grass turn an icky brown color. Also a low cut lawn makes weed seeds much easier to take hold in your soil, creating much more work for you.
What is a good height you might ask? I keep my mower set to 3 1/2 inches, but the height that you cut at also depends on the type of grass you have. Most of us however have a mixture of some bermuda and some St. Augustine so 3 1/2" is a good setting.
When mowing your grass, its a good rule of thumb to only remove the top 1/4 inch of grass in a single cutting. If you jump out there for your first mowing of the season and cut off 3 inches, you will cause alot of un necessary stress on your lawn. AND you'll be left with those unsightly clumps of cut grass that you then have to rake up and dispose of.
Best time of day to Mow
Mid-morning is the best time as the dew has had time to evaporate and any morning watering that you have done has also had time to soak in and dry. Its best also before the heat of the day sets and your grass is heat stressed. Late afternoon is the next best time if you can't mow mid-morning. Temps will be cooler causing less stress and your lawn will have a few hours to recover before nightfall.
Sharpen Your Blades
You never want to use dull blades for mowing as you'll only be tearing the grass instead of actually cutting it. Just like you wouldn't want your barber to use dull scissors to cut your hair, never use dull mower blades on your grass!
It is recommended that your sharpen your blades at least monthly during the mowing season and then before your store your mower for the fall season so you are ready to go when spring approaches.
Know when to fertilize
Apply a Good Pre-Emergent
We have carried Balan pre-emergent for quite a few years and everyone has very good success with it. We recommend 3 applications a year, mid-march, mid-June and again in mid-September. This type of application will keep your lawn free of weeds like sticker burrs and nutsedge. One 40# bag covers 29,040 sq. ft.
Top Dress with Compost
To give your lawn a spring & fall boost, simply topdress it with compost about 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Lighlty rake over your grass with a flexible leaf rake to help the compost reach the soil. The added nutrients will help build a thicker lawn. This works especially well when reseeding to fill in bare spots.
Don't Mow with a dew, or right after a Rain!
Mowing while your grass is wet can damage not only your mower, but will dull your blades and 'tear' your grass instead of cutting it.
Mow in an alternating pattern
Its best to alternate the way you more your lawn so you don't develop ruts and it helps to keep your surface level and smooth.
Don't bag your grass clippings
If your mower comes with an attached grass catcher, please remove it and let your grass clipping sprinkle back into your lawn as you mow. This creates a mulching effect as the clippings contain valuable nutrients and trace minerals when put back on your lawn as they break down into the soil.
Water Early in the Morning
The best time to water is early in the morning when temps are cooler and the low light means less of the water will evaporate so your grass can get more of the moisture it needs. Watering late in the evening allows fungus to develop in your lawn overnight and you don't want that! For our sandy soils, you want to make sure you water at least 1 inch deep. An easy way to make sure you are watering enough is to place a measuring cup in the area where you are watering and turn on the sprinkler. When the cup has 1 inch of water in it, move your sprinkler to another area.