April 19, 2012

Practice preventive turf health care today. Here are a few pointers:

Soil — Consider having your soil sampled and analyzed. Work with a professional to amend the soil to the correct pH level and key nutrients for healthy growth.

Grass — Planting the proper grass variety adapted for your climate is vital to lawn success. Contact your lawn care professional for appropriate local information.

Mowing — Mow at the highest recommended height (usually 3 inches) and mow frequently: every five days when the lawn is growing fast, and up to 10 days when it is growing more slowly. Never remove more than one-third of the leaf surface. Keep lawn mower blades sharp and leave clippings on the lawn (grasscycling) when you mow. This allows nutrients to return to the soil. Make sure you don’t leave clippings on the pavement where they can wash off into a water source and contribute to water pollution.

Watering — Water deeply every 5 – 7 days in the early morning. In general, watering should moisten the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. This requires applying a half-inch of water on coarse, sandy soil and 1 inch on heavy- or fine-textured soil. Too much water can cause water quality and grass problems, which increases the chance of fungus, runoff, and leaching of nutrients. It’s also a waste of our precious water resources.

Fertilization and Pest Control — Apply the right amount and kind of fertilizer and pest-control products at the right time, and only when needed. Follow all label instructions and precautions. Work with a lawn care professional to create an effective program specific to your needs.