To maintain a green and healthy lawn throughout the summer, follow these tips from horticultural expert Tom Ogren, author of What the “Experts” May Not Tell You About Growing the Perfect Lawn.
Mow when the grass is 3 to 5 inches tall, and then cut just an inch. Tall turf grows slower and stronger, and develops deep, extensive roots. With deep roots, during a drought, your lawn will remain green longer without water. Bluegrass lawns can be grown to 5 or 6 inches before mowing.
Leave the clippings when you mow. They’re free fertilizer. Clippings break down slowly and continually feed nitrogen to grass roots.
For a manicured look, invest in a mulching mower or put a mulching blade on your existing mower.
Sharpen the mower blade twice each summer to avoid jagged grass tips, which are susceptible to disease and drought.
Mow in an alternate direction each time. Otherwise, the lawn can develop furrows and uneven spots.
Most lawns need at least an inch of water every week during growing season. Buy a rain gauge to monitor rainfall. If you need to water, apply it all at once.
If you see your footprints when you walk on the grass, or if the turf takes on a slightly bluish tint, the lawn needs water.
Stay off the grass right after it’s been watered. Foot traffic on wet lawns can compact the soil, reducing the lawn’s supply of oxygen and nutrients.