Spraying for weeds and applying fertilizer is at most 1/3 of the solution to solving lawn problems. Whether those problems are weeds, disease, or thinning grass, there are things you can do to kick your desired lawn into high gear — or send it in reverse. Try these tips and experience the amazing results.
Mow High, Not Low.
Many home owners fear that if they do not cut short, they will cut more often — this is not true — you’re cutting the same amount of times at a higher height. Not only is it a less back breaking chore when doing so, it’s also paramount to a healthy lawn. As a matter of fact, those that cut high, often can go a year without minimal weed spray! Here’s the scoop:
1. The number one rule is to never cut more then 1/3 of a grass blade off in a single mowing. This would mean that if your grass were 5” tall, never cut more then 1.65” off during that cut. Any more, and you are injuring the plant and it will eventually die.
2. The proper setting on your lawn mower should be 3 1/2” off the ground. You can use a tape measure, but typically this is the second highest setting on your push mowers wheel setting. Some push mowers have a separate lever for both the front and back wheels; they should be the same.
3. Sharpen your blades a minimum of twice per year. Dull, or nicked blades tear and injur grass.
FACT: Taller grass equals deeper roots. Deeper roots resurface to the earth as new grass blades. New grass blades thickens the turf. Thick turf blocks weed seeds from sun and prevents (smothers) them from growing.
Water Correctly, At The Right Time.
Watering when you get home from work leaves grass blades wet and unable to dry — this creates lawn disease. Watering during daylight evaporates your watering bill to the atmosphere and not deeply within the soil. Here are a few tips:
1. Water in such a way that it is finished just as the sun comes up. If you water for 1 hour, and the sun rises at 6am, begin watering at 5am. If you do not have irrigation, home improvement stores have affordable timers you can add to your water spicket. These timers are sophisticated and allow you to set what days, times, and how long you would like to water. They even have multiple hose connections that eliminate you from having to drag a singular hose from one part of the lawn to another.
2. Shady and narrow areas do not need as much water as large sunny areas. The rule is that grass needs 1” of water per week to thrive.
FACT: improper and too frequent watering is the number 1 reason for lawn disease. Lawn disease can kill and thin out grass.
Flower Bed Weeds and Bird Feeders
The most common weeds we find are close to flower beds and bird feeders. Pulling your flower bed weeds prevent them from spreading seeds or roots into your lawn.
I’ve seen many home owners pull weeds from flower beds, throw them into their lawn, and then mow them. This practice also spread weed seeds within your grass to grow.
Bird seed that contains thistle (Finch food) create unwanted prickly weeds. Choose bird foods that do not contain Thistle seeds. There are many alternatives for finches that do not create a thorn in your thumb (or bare foot).