Care and patience makes the difference between a lush, healthy lawn and a coarse, brown eyesore.
Most people take pride and care in maintaining their lawns, although weather conditions often hamper even a green thumb’s best efforts. And, it’s not just a matter of beauty; maintaining your home’s landscape is important for property values.
To check soil moisture, insert a screwdriver into the soil. If it penetrates the soil easily, it is moist. If not, you know your lawn is getting dry.
Here are some lawn care tips:
- Minimize fertilization. Over fertilized and over-watered lawns tend to lack the wherewithal to thrive under stress. This spells trouble during a drought because the lawn hasn’t developed a deep root system. Heavily fertilized lawns also require more water, so home owners may want to wait until fall to fertilize.
- A good rule of thumb for mowing is never remove more than one-third of the grass at one time. Mowing higher forces grass to develop and use deeper roots.
- Try mulching - even if you don't have a mulching mower. Let clippings remain on the grass. Lawns tend to lose more water and nutrients through evaporation when you remove clippings.
- If you didn't aerate your lawn in the spring, consider doing so this fall. Aeration creates small holes in the ground that allow water to soak deeper into the ground and promotes root growth.
- Maintain your lawn care equipment. Sharpen mower blades at least twice during the summer. Dull blades tear grass, forcing grass to use 40 to 60 percent more water while it struggles to recover from stress.
- Watering from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. is ideal. Irrigating during the day wastes water, because much of the water evaporates in the heat.
Watering on alternate days can save 40 to 50 percent of water, and heeding these few tips will go a long way to helping you maintain and enjoy your lawn, even though the hot, dry summer.