Lawn Care Guide

Mowing and Watering

Your lawn gets put through a lot. Weeds invade it, insects chew it, and heat shrivels it. But nothing is as hard to tame as fungus lawn diseases on the loose. Once out of their cages, they can run wild over your property and be very tough to get back under control. That’s why we need your help in keeping diseases locked up. And the way you water and mow your lawn makes a huge difference in lawn and grass disease activity.

Here are some tips that work:

Water Deeply and Only When Needed

On hot, dry days, 1000 square feet of grass can lose 190 gallons of water. That’s almost 1500 gallons of water consumed by an average lawn, per day! And since your grass is 80-90% water, it’s important to replace the water that’s lost to prevent water weakness that gives lawn diseases an easy entry.

Water early in the morning (between 4-8 a.m. is best) to give water on grass blades time to dry.

Most fungal grass diseases use the moisture on grass leaves to produce spores and to move from plant to plant. When the water is there long enough, these spores have time to cause problems.

Water deeply; at least 6 to 8” into the soil to encourage deep roots. This usually means you have to apply 1 to 2” of water a week.

Water When Your Lawn Needs It, But Only Then

Your lawn has ways of showing you when it’s ready for a drink. Grass will turn deep bluish and footprints won’t spring back.

Mowing To Trim Lawn Disease

The way you mow also affects your lawns ability to resist grass diseases.

  • Mow Higher. Most grass should be cut at the highest recommended setting during the summer, to protect the stem from heavy sunlight. The shorter you trim your grass, the smaller the root system will be.
  • Mow More Often. Mowing higher means doing it more often. Make sure you don’t remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mowing. Scalping, or cutting your grass extremely short, leaves it wide open to disease.
  • Don’t use a dull blade because this shreds the tops of the grass, and exposes the turf’s tissue for lawn disease spores to easily enter. Mowing with a dull blade is shown to increase disease activity by 20% or more. And it even uses 20% more fuel than mowing with a sharp blade. To avoid this, have your blades sharpened several times a season.
  • Keep grass clippings on your lawn, which returns about 25% of the nutrients back to the soil.

From brown patch disease to red thread fungus, we want to keep the disease dragons at bay, but we need your help. When we work together, your lawn will stay greener, thicker and more pest-free. For more information on disease management, contact your neighborhood Spring-Green.

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