When to Water
If you find your lawn has taken on a grayish cast or appears to be dull green, it’s telling you that it needs water. You can also check your lawn by walking on it: If your footprints don’t disappear quickly, it’s because the grass blades don’t have the needed moisture to spring back. While it may seem like you can head out to water your lawn anytime during the day, your lawn actually needs more specific care. Watering in the morning (before 10 a.m.) is the best time for your lawn; it’s cooler and winds tend to be calmer so water can soak into the soil and be absorbed by the grass roots before it can evaporate. If you must water in the evening, try between 4 and 6 p.m. which should give the grass blades time to dry before nightfall. The later you water, the greater the chance of disease becoming prevalent in your lawn. It’s worth noting, though, that you don’t necessarily have to water your lawn. Lawns are resilient. Established and properly cared-for lawns can survive weeks without water by going dormant (when the lawn turns brown), then recover once the rain returns.
How to Tell if You’ve Watered Enough
Check the soil: To see how long it will take to soak the soil, check it every 15 minutes during your first watering by using a screwdriver to test how deep the water has moved. Mark the time once the soil has been soaked to a depth of at least 6 inches—that’s how long you’ll need to water your lawn each time in the future. Short on time and simply want to know if you can skip watering for the day? Use this rule of thumb: If you can’t easily stick that screwdriver 6 inches deep into the soil, you need to water.
Mowing your lawn
Mowing is a stressor to grass. Grass naturally wants to grow as tall as it can to produce seed heads for reproduction. When we mow short the grass will expend unnecessary energy to recover. We recommend mowing at 3.5″ or higher. Mowing high will also produce a thicker turf canopy which will naturally prevent weeds and shade the soil from getting dry. You never want to remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. So make sure that you mow weekly or 2x per week during spring flush to reduce stress to the turf. Avoid mowing when the grass is under stress from temperatures above 90 degrees or drought.
Why do I have Weeds?
Birds, wind, mowers, and many other things blow weed seeds into your lawn. We experience high weed pressure during the late early spring because the grass is dormant and there is no competition. During the summer your turf may get damaged, leaving thin and bare spots. Weed seeds are opportunists and will find any bare or thin spots. This is especially true after wet and mild winters and harsh summers.
What can I do to Reduce Weeds?
Having a thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds. Mowing high and regularly will promote a dense turf canopy. Mowing early in the spring will help control winter annual weeds. Trimming properly and not scalping edges will help prevent outbreaks on edges. After each summer, seed bare and thin areas. Aerate annually to promote healthy roots and dense turf.