Are You Testing Your Soil?
A soil test will help you get a better understanding of what nutrients and minerals your soil is lacking. Just like your doctor takes blood to measure your baseline health, a soil test allows you to give your lawn the best preventative care to keep it healthy.
Are You Mowing Correctly?
Mowing the grass may seem like a simple-enough chore, but you can actually make or break your lawn based on your mowing habits.
Mowing your lawn at its proper height is vital to keeping it healthy. Do not mow off more than 1/3 of the blade at a time. To ensure you are not mowing more than 1/3 at a time, it is best to mow the lawn once every 7 days.
Not sharping your mower blades often enough, or mowing with dull blades, will tear the blades of grass leaving your lawn more susceptible to pests and diseases.
Mowing at the Wrong Height for Grass Type
Did you know that every species of grass has its own ideal height? Grass cutting isn’t a one-size-fits-all exercise. Check out our seasonal lawn care tips to find out how high your grass should be cut, whether it’s Bermuda, Fescue, or Zoysia.
Are You Using Your Grass Clippings?
Are you throwing away your grass clippings, or mulching with them? By leaving your grass clippings in place (grasscycling) you are allowing nitrogen and other valuable nutrients to return back to the soil, and it also helps with water conservation. When mowing regularly with sharp blades at the correct height, grasscycling does not contribute to thatch. Not only will grasscycling reduce the amount of time spent on your lawn care but it also reduces landfill space.
Are You Watering Correctly?
Water is one of the most important things your lawn needs to stay healthy, but the way you water matters as much as the quantity.
Your lawn needs from 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. If you start to notice that your grass is looking dull, grayish, or if the blades of grass don’t spring back into place after walking across them, your lawn needs more water. Stay aware of local water restrictions so you can make the most of your available lawn watering times. Water slowly to allow the water to penetrate the soil and prevent runoff waste.
Ever heard of “too much of a good thing”? Aside from wasting one of our most important resources, over watering can actually harm your lawn. Too much water can deplete the oxygen in the soil. Over watering can also prevent your grass from developing a dense root system by becoming too dependent on your water supply.
Watering at the Wrong Time of Day
Watering in the morning allows time for the grass to absorb the water before it is evaporated in the heat of the day. Watering between 4-10 am gives plenty of time for the lawn to absorb the water.
To reduce disease pressure, you want to minimize the amount of time that water is sitting on the grass so it is best to avoid watering at night.
Are You Fertilizing Properly?
Using Too Much Fertilizer or Using Too Little Fertilizer
Using too much fertilizer can burn and even kill your grass. It also increases the amount of chemical runoff to local rivers and streams. On the other hand, using too little fertilizer is a waste of time and money without any of the benefits of properly fertilizing.
Applying fertilizer at the wrong time of year for your grass can leave your lawn susceptible to disease. At Simply Green, we can help you create an expertly timed lawn care regimen with our weed control and fertilization program.
Applying the Wrong Fertilizer
Each type of grass has its own specific needs, so don’t assume you can use the same fertilizer on any species of grass.
Are You Aerating Your Lawn?
Core aerating is one of the most important ways to maintain a healthy lawn year after year. By opening up the root system, your lawn can more readily absorb water, fertilizer, amendments, and oxygen. When compacted, thatch will accumulate faster and will impair the activity of earthworms and other thatch-decomposing organisms. Increased thatch will reduce water movement through the soil which encourages shallow, weak roots and will also provide a home for damaging insects and disease.
Are You Planting the Right Kind of Grass for Your Lawn?
There are two types of grass and they both thrive in different environments: Warm season grass and cool season grass. Warm-season grasses require a full 8 hours of direct sun each day to thrive. These grasses go dormant every winter and they will not survive long-term in shaded areas in the lawn. Cool-season grasses perform best in shaded areas of the lawn but still require a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight each day during the growing season. Cool-season grasses stay green year-round, but will turn brown and suffer in the heat of summer, especially if they do not receive adequate water.
Are You Seeding Grass at the Right Time?
We do not recommend seeding your lawn with a warm-season grass; it is best to sod these grasses. If your established warm-season grass is thin or bare on your lawn, that is your sign that it is not a good environment for warm-season grass to grow. Rather than seeding warm-season grass in an area you already know it does not perform well, look at options for other grasses or plants that would thrive in that environment. In addition, the time of year it is best to seed warm-season grass is after crabgrass pre-emergent applications should have been applied. If you receive lawn treatments or you have applied a pre-emergent yourself, this will inhibit the germination of the seed. Overall, do not seed your warm-season lawn without communicating with a lawn care professional.
It is recommend to seed your cool-season lawn every year to replenish areas that are thin or bare due to heat stress or disease. The best time of year to seed your cool-season grass is in the fall. This allows plenty of time for the grass to fully mature before the heat of summer. In addition, by seeding in the fall you are able to treat weeds both curatively and preventatively in spring allowing your cool-season lawn to thrive and looks its best.
Tally up your yes and no answers. Did you answer YES to every question? If not, it might be time to let the pros tackle your lawn. We can help you achieve that lush, emerald green lawn you’ve dreamed of with our residential lawn care offerings. Contact us for a free lawn analysis today!