Finally, summer is here and you can start enjoying the lawn you've worked so diligently to perfect! But don't stop now! In addition to fertilizing, proper mowing can strengthen your lawn's resilience against pests and weeds. Good mowing requires vigilance and an understanding of your grass type.
1/3 Rule - Follow the 1/3 rule. For a thriving lawn, never cut away more than 1/3 of the grass blade in any one mowing. This keeps the grass at optimal height for root development. Stronger and deeper roots mean fewer pests.
How Tall? - Allowing the grass to stay tall keeps many weed seeds from germinating. Keeping the lawn tall throughout the summer will keep the surface of the soil from drying out and reduce the need for watering. Cool –season grasses should grow 2 ½ to 3 inches tall and Warm-season grasses should be kept 1 to 2 inches tall.
Recycle Clippings - Grass clippings are valuable organic matter, full of nitrogen and other nutrients. As long as you mow often and remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade, you can just leave clippings on the lawn. The pieces break down quickly and reduce the amount of fertilizer you have to use by as much as 25%. Research has proven that the clippings don't cause thatch to build up.
Fertilize with an application of Milorganite around the 4th of July (cool season grasses).
Disease - Look for signs of insects and diseases in the lawn.
Water deeply and infrequently in the early morning hours as needed. Turf requires 1" of water per week total. Or, allow turf to go dormant.