Whether you do it yourself, or hire a company, observing the following suggestions will make a big difference in the quality of your lawn.
- Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade per mow.
- Mow with sharp blades.
- Avoid mowing when the turf and/or the soil is too wet.
- Vary the mowing patterns to avoid ruts.
- Mow the turf to a height of 3-4 inches.
- Clippings are beneficial to the lawn unless the turf is diseased or has weed seeds present.
- Avoid scalping the turf with string trimmers.
- Irrigation is the supplemental application of water to a lawn.
- The best time to water is between 4:00 and 10:00 a.m.
- Deep, infrequent watering is preferable to frequent light watering.
- Soil types will help determine irrigation practices as sandy soil drains quicker than soil with heavy clay.
- Proper use of fertilizer is an important part of maintaining a healthy stand of turf.
- The label on a bag of fertilizer lists many ingredients with the main ingredients being nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
- A soil test, recommended to be done about every three years, will help identify the nutritional needs of the soil.
- Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass needs 2-6 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. per season and tall fescue and fine fescue needs 1-4 lbs.
- Slow-release fertilizer is preferable to quick release.
- If possible, irrigate following fertilization.
- Blow off the hard surfaces following an application.
Core aeration in the fall, and sometimes the spring, has many benefits. Removing cores of soil reduces compaction resulting in healthier turfgrass root growth.
Combined with overseeding, fall is the best time to aerate a lawn. Choose a seed that is suited for your lawn, sun/shade, etc, and blends well with the existing cultivar. Kentucky bluegrass requires more sun, irrigation, and nitrogen than turf-type tall fescue. No grass type will survive dense shade; however, fine fescue does well in in areas with limited sun.
Turfgrass Weed Classifications
- Annual: complete life cycle in 1 year
- Perennial: live 3 or more years
- Summer Annual
- Winter Annual
- Annual Grass and Broadleaf Weeds
- Preemergence herbicide can be applied in early spring or late fall (winter annual weeds)
- Perennial Weeds
- Postemergence herbicides are most effective in the fall
*Pesticides should be considered the last tool used in the toolbox. The best defense against against weeds is to grow and maintain a healthy lawn. Please review the turf tips previously mentioned.