Summer is just around the corner. We have had a few days where it feels like it's already here! If you want to maintain the beautiful lush lawn you had in early spring, you will need to make a few adjustments to your routine.
How much to water?
As a rule of thumb your turfgrass requires approximately one inch of water per week. As we have blogged previously, watering too much is not a good thing. As a general rule of thumb, you want to water more in times of high heat, lots of sunlight, high winds, dry air, and drought. Alternately, you may want to water less in times of cooler temperatures, lots of clouds or shade, low winds, humidity, and high rainfall. Every yard is unique. Mr. Smith who has sandy soil and no shade is going to need more water applications than Mrs. Jones who has rich brown soil and many trees. Your lawn will tell you whether it needs more water or if it is doing fine. You want to apply just enough water to keep your grass green.
Using the water budget or seasonal adjust feature on your controller is the easiest way to add time to the system across all zones. If you have hot spots in your yard, increase the time or add a day for those specific areas rather than across the entire system to conserve water.
Raise the Mowing Height
I almost feel like I am beating a dead horse on this point, but I see it every day- lawns shaved within an inch of their life. Raise the height of your mower in the summer! This is easiest way to ensure the health of your lawn through the summer. When in doubt, just raise the mower all the way to its tallest setting. You never want to cut more than about one-third of your grass in any single session. Yes, this does mean you'll need to mow with a little more regularity, but don't fret: the growth of your lawn will slow considerably as the temperature average goes up. By maintaining a tall lawn, you deter weed growth and allow the grass to root deeper into the soil.
Mulch rather than Bag
I will admit right off that I am a mulcher. I know there are very opinionated camps on mulching vs. bagging. I hate to bag the grass, it doubles the time it takes me to mow. If you are mowing frequently and with a high blade, mulching does not leave grass clippings in ugly rows on your lawn. Done properly, grass clippings left on lawns conserve water because they protect the soil from the hot sun and thereby reduce evaporation. Also, they decompose into water absorbent humus. There are numerous municipalities in and around large cities that are encouraging residents to mulch by offering rebates and discounts for mulchers. All those grass clippings add up to huge amounts added to the landfill during the summer. If you are going to bag, I encourage you to start a compost bin to reduce the spent grass to rich nutrients you can utilize in your plant beds later.
Keep it green !
Have a super week!