With recent rain and milder temperatures lawns are beginning to bounce back. And with more rain the forecast for the weekend, many lawns should be back to their pre-drought form. That said, now is not the time to forget your lawn. As temperatures cool, lawns grow more and require proper mowing techniques.
Here are a few tips. First, make sure your mower blade is still sharp. If you can’t sharpen the blade yourself, find someone who can. Most small communities have a lawnmower shop or hardware store that offers this inexpensive service.
OK, so you have a sharp blade, now what? Mow your grass tall and frequently. What does that mean? Simple. Tall grass is healthier and helps choke out weeds. So adjust the height on your mower so that the cut length of your grass is 3-4 inches. Second, as grass grows quickly in the spring, you should mow frequently to avoid lopping off more than one third of the total leaf surface. So if the desired length is 3 inches, that means you should mow every time your grass reaches 4.5 inches.
Also keep in mind that fall and early winter lawn treatments are critical to your lawn’s health. They are the primary driver for the condition of your lawn the following spring. So if you have cut back or cancelled service due to the drought, you should consider continuing your service into the fall. Your lawn will thank you.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Indiana drought conditions continue to improve thanks to rain in recent weeks. Still, one-third of the state remains in severe to extreme drought conditions, but the new U.S. Drought Monitor report released this week shows eight counties in central Indiana have moved out of the extreme drought zones.
Rains measuring 2 to 5 inches fell on the 16th and 20th, helping to improve conditions and quench dry lawns.
The southwest portion of the state remains in the worst category of exceptional drought. But the overall state total in that category dropped from last week’s 16 percent to 11 percent.
Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Madison counties lifted burn bans this week.
But bans remain in effect in Marion county as do mandatory outdoor water restrictions for much of the Indianapolis area. Three quarters of the county continue to experience extreme drought conditions. Check out the graphic below for state-wide conditions.
Please call us with any questions about your lawn. As lawns recover this fall we’ll begin providing aeration and overseeding for those who are interested.
Image from Indianapolis Star
Well, thanks to yesterday’s round of precipitation, lawns are really starting to bounce back – some better than others. Cooler temperatures this weekend will further help lawns recover. Rainfall varied quite a bit over central Indiana, but it appears the minimum was nearly a half inch, with some areas reporting close to three inches of rain. But we’re not out of the woods yet. It’s only the middle of August and high temps could return (but let’s hope not).
For those with lawns that are still struggling, check out posts below that discuss aeration and overseeding. Those are two things that every homeowner can do to improve the health of their lawn.
The good news is that we’re getting some rain. So far for August we’ve received just over 4 inches of precipitation, which is well above average. We’re still down for the year, but this recent dose of rain is sure helping. Lawns are beginning to recover and the new product we have been applying will begin to show results, but there are a couple things that will help promote lawn recovery. First is a healthy dose of nitrogen, which we’ll be applying with future applications. This will strengthen roots and promote overall health. Next is aeration, which we covered in a previous blog post. But we’d like to expand on this since our last post. We’d like to amend our recommendation to two rounds of aeration this fall, and overseeding.
As we mentioned before, aeration is the act of removing nickel-size plugs of soil from the yard so that the grass roots can expand and gain access to air, water and nutrients. We recommend doing this twice. Given the drought of this year, the grass is stressed and needs all the help it can get. So a double dose of aeration will help. Then, the resulting soil plugs then give the grass seed a nice base to grow from.
Any questions? Just call us. And if you’d like to schedule an aeration service, do the same.
It’s no surprise that Indianapolis-area lawns are suffering – a combination of heat and drought is really pushing grass to its limits. Some lawns barely recovered from last season when they were hammered, yet again with long, hot, dry days this year. One thing that you can do to help revitalize your lawn is to aerate this fall as temperatures cool. Aeration is the act of cutting nickel-sized holes in the soil. Aeration removes “plugs” of soil (which get scattered across your lawn), and the subsequent holes in the yard allow air, water and nutrients to get down to the roots easier. Additionally, aeration gives the soil room for expansion, allowing the grass roots to grow deeper – and deeper roots are healthier roots.
Lawn Pride’s Aeration service is best performed when grass is actively growing, so typically in the spring or fall. Do not worry about the dirt “plugs” caused by aeration, they will break down over a couple of weeks and disappear altogether. In the end, aeration will go a long way to helping your lawn look its best season after season.