Lawn Care Tips
Proper Watering is vital in developing a deeper and healthier root system. Your grass plant is composed of 90% water, therefore any minor change in water availability places the plant under stress.
Best to water your lawn earlier in the morning so it has time to dry out throughout the day. We recommended watering each area of the lawn for roughly 20-30 minutes for a minimum of 3-4 times per week. For clay soils you may be watering shorter amounts of time but more frequently to avoid the water from pooling in the yard. Watering in the evening can sometimes be problematic and cause lawn diseases.
It is very important that you are mowing your lawn on a weekly basis especially in the spring and early fall when the lawn is actively growing. Mowing weekly keeps the grass clippings short as well.
Make sure that your blades are sharpened once per season – cutting with a dull blade can create open spores on the grass plant welcoming in lawn diseases.
Mowing height should very depending on time of season. 3-3.5” is ideal for the type of grass in the Midwest.
Make sure that clumps of grass are not left in the lawn, this will create thatch build up and can ultimately kill the grass by suffocating it. Remember a certain amount of thatch is beneficial for your lawn.
What is Thatch?
Thatch is made up of dying grass parts that have not decomposed. Thatch accumulates on the top of the soil and poses a health hazard to the lawn if the thatch layer becomes more than ½” or more. Use a soil probe to check for thatch levels if the lawn feels “spongy”.
Aeration and/or De-Thatching will help with the reduction of thatch build up in your lawn.
Why is Aeration important?
Aeration is a mechanical process that pulls 7 finger size plugs from the lawn which allows oxygen to immediately get to the root of the grass plant. Aeration also helps loosen up compacted soils allowing nutrients to flow more readily. Lawns become compacted from any activity on the lawn, aeration is recommended to be done at least once a season when the grass is actively growing.
How can I improve the density of my grass in shaded areas?
The best solution is to get more sunlight to the grass plant by pruning or cutting back tree limbs, if there is adequate sunlight. Another alternative is to plant shade tolerant grass seed. In many situations shade tolerant plants or ground covers are a better option than grass.
Why do I have trouble growing grass on a hill?
All hills are difficult because the runoff of the water does not allow for adequate water retention to develop a healthy root system. South and West facing hills absorb additional heat which compounds the heat/water stress to the grass plant. Hills need to be water for shorter durations but more often to help alleviate the stress.
What is the best way to seed?
In order to achieve a high germination rate, you must have seed soil contact (working the seed into the top 1/8-1/4 inch of soil) and you must keep the soil continually moist for at least 3-4 weeks. If seed dries out it will die. Never treat newly germinated seed with fertilizer or weed control until it has reached its maturity of having been mowed 3-4 times.
Why is Pruning important:
Pruning removes new shoot growth as well as dead and dying branches; frequent pruning not only allows room for new growth to keep the shrub fuller and more pleasing in shape and appearance, but also extends the useful life of the plant.