Mow Frequently with Sharp Blades
Frequent cutting forces grass to grow thick; a thick lawn will help keep weeds out. Keep mower blades sharp so the grass isn’t beaten up and made vulnerable to disease. Never cut more than a third of the grass blade at any time. Cut only an inch or less if your grass is three inches tall. Any deeper, you’re “scalping” the blades and putting your lawn at risk for disease. It can take two or three mowing cycles for the lawn to recover.
Don’t Cut Glass Blades Too Short
Mow using one of the higher settings on your mower. Tall grass shades out weeds and promotes a deeper root system. The deeper the roots, the better your lawn will resist disease and require less water. The preferred mowing height for most Utah turf grasses is 2.5 to 3 inches.
Don’t Mow a Wet Lawn
Mowing when your lawn is saturated with water will compact the soil so the roots can’t breathe. When this happens, the grass dies, and you’ll see bald spots on your lawn.
Leave Grass Clippings Where They Fall
If you cut your grass often, the clippings will be short and quickly decompose, adding extra nutrients to the soil. Contrary to popular belief, grass clippings do not add to thatch build-up. Grass blades are about 75% water and loaded with nutrients.
Water Deeply and Less Frequently
Watering requirements will vary based on the time of year, weather, temperature, and soil conditions. The key is to thoroughly water, so moisture soaks down to the root zone. Light, frequent watering is less efficient and encourages a shallow root system.
As temperatures increase during the hot periods of summer, you will need more frequent watering applications to maintain a lush lawn. For example, if your soil is sandy, it will not retain as much water as clay or loam soil and will require more frequent watering in smaller volumes.
You may want to start watering once a week in early spring, increasing to twice a week in late spring/early summer, and then three times a week in the hot summer months.
Avoid Nighttime Watering
Don’t put the lawn to sleep with wet feet – meaning let the grass dry out before the dew falls – since prolonged moisture invites disease. The best time to water is pre-dawn or early morning between 3-7 am. Watering during the day wastes water due to excessive evaporation and can scald the lawn when temperatures are high.
Aeration helps with thatch build-up and promotes a healthy, vigorous lawn and root system. Core aeration softens the soil and creates pockets within the soil to help deliver air, water, fertilizer, and nutrients to the turf root zone. This is recommended once a year for residential lawns.
Guardian Lawn Care – Utah