Photo courtesy JBUK_Planet via Flickr.
As homeowner’s we do it every week from spring until fall. But how can something so simple as mowing can have such a huge effect on the overall health of our lawn? Well, it’s true. Mowing is more than maintaining your lawn’s appearance, it’s as much about maintaining its health too!
1. Proper Mowing Height - Most people prefer a short lawn. It’s a preference that was born from the ultra-short grass found on golf course fairways and greens. But before you try for your own Pebble Beach, consider this. Golf courses use special grass and spend tens of thousands of dollars to keep it alive. So unless you’re literally committed to a “million dollar lawn”, you might want to consider growing your grass taller. Why? Mowing your lawn at the right height can keep your from getting one of several lawn diseases and it chokes out weeds. So, in the spring never to mow more than a 1/3 of the blade off. So that means you’ll be mowing sometimes twice a week to keep it at a proper height of 3-4″.
2. Keep that Blade Sharp! - Would you cut your hair with dull scissors? Of course not. Using dull tools can ruin any project! Cutting your grass with dull blades causes ripping of the grass tissue, which stresses the turf. Stress turf leads to lawn disease! So sharpen your blades every 8-10 cuttings to keep them cutting clean! If you’re uncertain how to sharpen your own blade, we recommend finding a local expert who can do it for you. Typically lawn mower repair shops or even some hardware stores can perform this task relatively inexpensively.
3. Mix Up Your Routes - There is something very pleasing about the lines in freshly mowed grass. But, mowing it the same way every time can have a negative effect on your lawn. Those cool lines created are caused by the mower as it passes over and it forces the grass to “lay” down a certain direction. The stripes are caused by the grass reflecting the sun in a certain direction. However, it’s not good for your lawn to receive light on only one side, so mix up the way you mow your grass, allowing for the lawn to lay different directions. So while you may prefer your lawn to look a certain way, your lawn would appreciate a little change of pace.
4. Don’t Cut Your Lawn When It’s Wet! - Besides the grass clippings becoming tangled and clumped in your mowers catcher, mowing when it’s wet is hard on your soil. Too much weight on the surface of your lawn when it’s wet can cause soil compaction which, reduces the “breathing room” for the roots of your grass and can create problems.
Any questions? Comments? Just let us know. If you’re experiencing an issue with your lawn, go to our contact page and send us a note. You can even send a photo along to show us the exact issue you’re facing.
Photo courtesy of Gregory Garnich via Flickr
Lawn care is a hobby for many people, and even though they like to work around the yard they may need help from a pro from time to time. The most environmentally friendly and beautiful lawns are accomplished when the professional and the homeowner are on the same page.
Cultural practices is the term used to describe a host of lawn care management techniques such as mowing, fertilizing, aerating, and irrigating. When these practices are performed properly, you have the makings for the perfect lawn. Here are some examples of common cultural practices that lead to a healthy, lush lawn.
- Mowing- Raising the mowing height to between 3-3.5” in the early summer can help to choke out weeds. The taller grass keeps weed seeds from receiving sunlight and can prevent germination. It also helps prevent evaporation, thus retaining moisture and helps your lawn stay strong during the hot summer months.
- Fertilizing- Fertilizers will encourage your lawn to outcompete it’s weedy competitors. The best strategy for fertilization is to provide a minimal, consistent food source throughout the growing season. Over-fertilization isn’t a good thing.
- Irrigating- Proper watering will help your lawn while deterring diseases and weeds. Newly seeded areas should be watered frequently and lightly. An established lawn will react best to infrequent, heavy waterings. Whether the source is from rain or a sprinkler, your lawn should receive an average of 1″ per week.
- Aerating- A practice that is often over looked as unnecessary, but can be one of the most important for encouraging fall root growth. Aerating relieves compaction to your soils and increases oxygen availability for roots. And while we are just now seeing our lawns wake up, fall aeration is something you should start considering.
We hope these tips help. For more information check out our Turf Tips section of the website
As the growing season draws to a close, it’s time to think about shutting down your irrigation system. Lawn Pride has been servicing irrigation systems for years and has expert technicians on staff to handle all your repair and maintenance requests. From trouble shooting to spring startups and fall shutdowns, we can do it all. Call us today to schedule your fall shut down.
Quick Answer: Now
The recent combination of cooler Fall weather and heavy rainfall make this the perfect time to aerate any Central Indiana lawn.
Aerating is the process of inserting holes in your lawn for new seed to grow strong roots, fertilizer to help accelerate the growth, and ultimately achieve a thicker, healthier lawn. The holes (or “plugs”) allow for better water absorption, nutrient absorption and help in the process of eliminating thatch. After several hot Summer months the top four inches of soil becomes extremely hard and compact, leaving no where for new seed to grow.
Compacted soil keeps all healthy elements out of soil including water and essential nutrients. Without any room to enter the soil, thatch from lawn mowing is not decompressed and returned to the earth. It will just sit on the lawn’s surface, inviting molds, mildews, disease and unwanted insects.
Indianapolis aeration also increases the amount of oxygen that can interact with your soil, which stimulates root growth and speeds up the decomposition of thatch. When the plugs of soil are removed during the aeration process the grass is stimulated to produce new shoots and roots that will fill in the new holes and increase the density of your lawn.
Additional benefits of Fall aeration include:
- Increase lawn’s drought tolerance
- Noticeable improvement in overall lawn health
- Provide new seeds time to grow strong roots before next Summer
If you’re interested in a quote for aeration services from Lawn Pride click here.
Aeration - Mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn breaks up soil compaction, allowing oxygen and water to get down to the root zone so grass can grow thicker and healthier. The lasting benefits of a Lawn Pride Aeration Treatment are:
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere
- Enhanced soil water uptake
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use
- Reduced water runoff and puddling
- Stronger turf grass roots
- Reduced soil compaction
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance
- Improved resiliency and cushioning
- Enhanced thatch breakdown
- Improved Spring green-up and growth
As Indianapolis lawns enter the heat of the season, you might be wondering how much water is appropriate for your lawn. The quick answer is that all Indiana lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. But unfortunately very few homeowners actually know what to do to deliver that amount of water.
Here’s what to do. The next time you water, put an empty container (such as a empty tuna can or a pie pan) on the lawn and do not stop watering until the water level in the container is 1 – 1.5 inches deep. Then once you know how long it takes to deliver the correct volume of water, you can divide the waterings across a couple days if you wish. But don’t divide it up too much Several short waterings aren’t as effective as fewer long waterings. That’s because the first few minutes of water is runoff and it takes a while for the water to penetrate deeply. And the deeper the water goes, the healthier your lawn will be. Deep penetration encourages the roots to grow deeper and deeper to reach the water…and deep root growth is essential for overall lawn health. Shallow watering encourages the roots to remain shallow, and that just isn’t healthy.
Likewise, if yard is soft and mushy and seems to grow slower and die faster than your Hoosier neighbor, then you might be over watering. An over-watered lawn is more prone to weeds, crab grass, and insect infestation too, so if this sounds familiar, try cutting back on your watering schedule. And don’t water overnight. Water in the early morning so that the lawn doesn’t sit wet overnight, when fungus is likely to attack. In short, lawns prefer less moisture than more moisture, but can’t live without water either. If mother nature is providing adequate rain, then let it be. If it gets dry, drag out the sprinkler to keep your lawn healthy as things heat up.