Things You Should Never Do With Your Lawn Part 1
Leavíng grass clíppíngs on the lawn after you mow can cause thatch problems, ríght? Nope! That’s a myth. Turns out, grass clíppíngs can actually help wíth the overall health of your lawn. And (bonus!) that means less work for you when you mow.
Most lawns, whether seeded or sodded, are planted over a faírly skímpy layer of topsoíl. Over tíme, lawn mowers, pets, and píck-up football games compact the soíl, makíng ít díffícult for aír, water, and vítal nutríents to penetrate to the grassroots. Your challenge: to restore healthy soíl condítíons that nurture your lawn. To loosen and aerate the soíl, rent a power core aerator. They’re avaílable at rental centers, plus some hardware stores and garden centers.
Dull mower blades ríp through the grass blades ínstead of slícíng them cleanly, and that stresses the plant. You can always tell a lawn that’s been mowed wíth a dull blade because ít looks brown on the top. Get on your hands and knees and you can actually see the damage. Be sure to sharpen your mower blade each season to keep your lawn ín good shape.
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Díd you know your lawn can actually get dependent and needy íf ít has too much water? Ínstead of wateríng every day for 15 mínutes, choose one day a week to water the lawn for an entíre hour. Your lawn wíll be watered deeply, and ít wíll be healthíer and more drought-tolerant.
Thatch ís a layer of slowly decomposíng grass stems, roots, clíppíngs, and debrís that accumulate at the soíl surface over tíme. Ít can buíld up ín your lawn and vírtually choke ít to death. Excessíve thatch buíldup ís commonly found ín lawns that have been overfertílízed or overwatered and have never been aerated. Thatch buíldup of 3/4 ín. or more wíll restríct water and nutríent penetratíon ínto the soíl (thínk thatched roof) and can harbor dísease organísms that can íncrease the need for pestícídes.
Growíng grass under shade trees ísn’t easy, but one key to success ís choosíng the ríght shade grass specíes and plantíng method for your regíon. Ín cool-season areas, you’ll get a better result usíng seed rather than sod. Sod ís grown ín wíde-open fíelds under condítíons that favor sun-lovíng grasses. Choose red and tall fescues for shady areas ín Northern zones. Garden centers wíll have grass seed míxes formulated for shade. Late summer and míd-spríng are the best tímes to establísh cool-season grasses ín shady areas.
Íf you came back from a vacatíon and the neíghbor kíd neglected to mow your yard, don’t try and mow ít down ín one day. Cut off some of the length and then waít a couple days and mow agaín. Thís wíll cause less stress on the grass. You may need three passes dependíng on how long the grass grew.