There’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is spring is finally here and the weather is warming up. The bad news, not really bad but annoying, is that the grass will need mowing soon. If you’re like me and you do your own lawn maintenance, there are some simple things you can do to keep your lawn looking great.
1. Don’t cut your grass too short. You might be thinking that by cutting it short, you won’t have to mow as often but actually the opposite is true. Cutting grass too short makes it grow faster. Not only will you have to mow more often but you will have to water it more and have a bigger weed problem. Keeping grass longer makes it grow longer roots and it’s thicker so it chokes out more weeds. A good rule of thumb is to not cut over a third of its length. So if the grass is 3 inches, only cut an inch off.
2. Don’t mow when it’s wet. Stay of the grass when it’s wet so you don’t compact the soil. Roots do not do well in compacted soil and you may get bald areas in your lawn.
3. Let the clippings fall. If you mow regularly, there’s no need to bag the lawn clippings. Just let them fall into the grass as you mow. They will work themselves down to the soil and fertilize it.
4. Don’t overwater. You want to give your grass a good drink of water but not necessarily every day. Watering the lawn every day tends to make roots grow shorter and wastes water. When your lawn needs water give it a good soak (about an inch) and do it in the pre-dawn/early morning hours. Avoid watering during the heat of the day when most will evaporate with the heat of the sun. Also avoid doing it in the evening. You want the grass to dry out before the dew falls to avoid moisture related diseases.
5. Keep your weeds at bay by growing thick, healthy grass. If there are just a few weeds here and there, pull them out by hand. If there are areas that are a little weedier choose the least toxic herbicide that you can find and spot spray the affected areas.
These tips seem easy enough but I’m not one who stresses about perfect grass. Even though I’m glad winter is gone, there actually is a positive spin to all that white stuff we were shoveling.….“There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor’s.” (Clyde Moore)