Aerate your lawn
Soil compaction is a common cause of an unhealthy, struggling lawn. Aerating can help relieve soil compaction and spring is an excellent time to do it. If your grass receives heavy traffic, it will best survive that use if aerated once or twice a year. A heavy clay soil also needs more frequent aerating. Lawns receiving light traffic or established on a sandy soil can be aerated once a year or every other year. Check with your local hardware store to rent equipment that can help make this an easy job.
Pay attention to soil nutrition
Optimal soil nutrients maximize grass growth, helping it to fill in quicker so don’t give up on your tired lawn just yet. Test your soil to see what it needs or give Turf Nurture Lawn Restoration Formula a try to help bring it back to life. This special formula is made primarily from natural and organic compounds and provides quick acting repair and renewal for stressed lawns. Think of Turf Nurture as prescription lawn therapy for any lawn that needs a second chance or more than just the basic TLC. With a natural base, Turf Nurture is pet and children friendly. This specialized formula delivers 15-0-7 strength lawn restoration that will reduce lawn stress caused by drought, heat and cold. It promotes increased root growth and vigor after just two weeks, and will show marked visual improvement within four to six weeks. Slow release nitrogen is a key ingredient which releases slowly as it biodegrades into the soil—making it effective over a much longer period of time. There are no surge growth problems with Turf Nurture. It boasts 70% slow release nitrogen makeup and can be applied in spring, summer or fall.
Lawn Mowing Tips
Remember that mowing is pruning. Proper mowing increases the density of the lawn, which in turn decreases weeds. Each type of grass has a recommended mowing height. Find out which type of grass is in your lawn (you may have more than one) and mow at the proper height.
Stick to the 1/3 rule — never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at any one time. A healthy lawn can survive an occasional close cut. Repeated close mowing produces a brown lawn and has several harmful side effects, including:
- Injury to the crown, where new growth generates and nutrients are stored.
- Reduction of the surface area of the blade, making the blade surface insufficient to produce food through photosynthesis.
- Increased vulnerability to pests and disease.
- An increase in the sunlight reaching weed seeds, allowing them to germinate.
- Risk of soil compaction.
Also remember to:
- Mow when the grass is dry. The blades will be upright and less likely to clump when cut.
- Avoid mowing in the heat of the day to prevent heat stress on your grass and yourself.
- Keep mower blades sharp and balanced. Ragged cuts made by dull blades increase the chance of disease and pests.
- Change the mowing pattern each time you mow. Grass develops a grain based on your cutting direction, tending to lean towards the direction you mow. Alternating the pattern causes more upright growth and helps avoid producing ruts in the lawn.
- Mow moving forward, whether you’re pushing a walk-behind mower or sitting behind the wheel of a lawn tractor.
- Discharge the clippings (unless you bag them) towards the area you have already cut.
- Leave clippings on the lawn unless they form clumps or rows. This technique (known as grass cycling) returns nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn.
- Consider using a mulching mower or mulching attachments.
- If you bag your clippings, consider composting them.
- Mow grass higher in shaded areas under trees. In these areas grass has to compete with tree roots for water and nutrients.
- Reduce mowing frequency and raise the mowing height of cool-season grasses when hot, dry weather slows their growth rate.
- Follow the proper fertilizing schedule for your type of turfgrass.
Mowing new grass
Newly-seeded grass needs three to four weeks to get established after germination before you should mow it for the first time. The grass blades are tender and easily damaged and the foot and mower traffic could compact the soil, especially if the soil is moist. Mow when the new grass is 3/4 inch to 1 inch taller than its recommended regular mowing height.
Turfgrass Mowing Height Recommendations
These are basic guidelines for mowing heights. Keep weather conditions (hot, cold, drought) in mind whenever you mow.
Mowing Height for Cool-season Grasses
Bentgrass – 1/2 to 1 inch
Bluegrass – 2 to 2 1/2 inches
Perennial Ryegrass – 2 to 3 inches
Fescue – 2 to 3 inches
Mowing Height for Warm-season Grasses
Bahia – 2 to 2 1/2 inches
Bermuda – 1 1/2 to 2 inches
Centipede – 1 1/2 to 2 inches
St. Augustine – 2 to 3 inches
Zoysia – 1 to 2 inches