Posted on Jul 30, 2019
Maintaining a full, emerald-colored lawn is no easy feat. The heat of the summer can have a big impact on your yard, sending even the most seasoned homeowner in search of lawn care tips. This can be an especially challenging time of year for those who live in areas of the country where lingering high temperatures seem determined to persist into fall. Issues like nutrient malabsorption and too much or too little rainfall all affect the growth and overall health of your yard. So, let’s talk about a few lawn care tips that can make having a lush, green, carpeted yard a reality.
You may have heard that it’s best to never cut off more than a third of a blade of grass at once, which is good, sound advice. But what about mowing height: Should you mow long or short, and just how short is short enough? There are a few things you should know about your grass before you start mowing, which brings us to our first lawn care tip: Get to know your lawn. Mowing height is species specific. Meaning, different grass species require different conditions and care, and they each have a respective ideal length that increases your chances of achieving that thick green lawn. That’s why it’s important to get to know which variety is currently living out in your yard. As a rule, grass that has a thicker blade is going to do better when kept at a longer length, and thinner-bladed grass will fare best when kept shorter. Take for instance, St. Augustine grass, which is a common warm season variety found in the South. It’s thicker all the way through the blade and flourishes when maintained at around 3.5-4” tall, compared with Kentucky bluegrass that’s happiest around just 2 inches. If you aren’t sure where to start, the local county extension can be a big help in determining which type of grass you have.
Paying attention to what’s going on with the blades inside your mowing deck is crucial to getting a nice green lawn. So, for our second lawn care tip, we recommend checking in with your blades regularly in addition to keeping up with your model-specific service schedule of course. Here’s why: dull blades or blades that have accidentally been replaced upside down are going to do a pretty terrible job of cutting grass. They are more likely to damage and tear your yard, which can be traumatizing to the grass and cause a whole host of problems. It can even create an inviting setting for disease or pest infestations. Plus, it can make your lawn look unkempt. The thing to know about when to replace and how to maintain your blades is that it really comes down to frequency of use and circumstances. So, keeping a watchful eye on their condition can make all the difference.
The old saying that “timing is everything” also applies to the frequency with which you should mow your lawn. This brings us to lawn care tip number three. Grass is either in an active or inactive phase, and both require different lawn management. When grass is actively growing, mowing once or twice a week should be enough. But really, how often you should be mowing has a lot more to do with the overall grass length you’re aiming for. You may start the summer off mowing once a week only to find that after treating your lawn, you now have to mow twice a week to keep it within its desired range.
During inactive periods of growth, you don’t really need to mow at all because your grass will stay put. For some regions, this is a season that’s fast approaching as we creep closer to fall. You may even experience short periods of inactivity during a growth season from things like drought. You wouldn’t want to mow during these periods either. That said, there is one exception for mowing while grass is dormant, which is if your weeds are still growing. In this case, continuing to mow to a height that doesn’t affect the grass but cuts down the weeds can actually help work as weed control.
And now for our final lawn care tip, mulch your grass in lieu of side discharging or bagging. Mulching your clippings has a number of benefits that go well beyond skipping the work of disposing of unwanted material. Using a mulching mower, like one from John Deere’s X300 Series, feeds and treats your lawn while mowing. Each clipping has essential nutrients and elements your lawn needs to thrive holistically. Here’s how it works: properly mulched grass is fine and distributes evenly into the ground to the point where you aren’t able to see it after the cut. Each clipping carries elements found in basic fertilizers like nitrogen. As the clippings decay and your lawn absorbs them, the grass and soil take in all that good stuff, resulting in a thicker, healthier looking yard. Further, healthier soil and grass can better tolerate and absorb more water, so you won’t need to rely on herbicides and fertilizers as much.
Following these tips can help set your lawn up for success throughout the seasons. Have more questions or need help ordering and replacing your blades? Stop by your local Ag-Pro dealer. We’re happy to help with questions big and small. So, whether you’re ready to check out some equipment that’s mulch kit compatible or you just want to see what’s new, come on by and let us help you!