Scalped turf tends to be weak and sparse, which exposes soil. One of the top contributors to weed success is exposed soil that allows weed seed to take root. A sparse lawn also allows sunlight to reach weed seedlings, which gives them a boost. Consistently cutting grass too short contributes to a poorly developed root system, which also makes the lawn more susceptible to serious damage from drought or high temperatures.
MOW IN THE SHADE
When you prune a plant, it causes stress. Grass is no different. The act of mowing creates tremendous stress on grass plants. If you mow during the heat of the day, individual grass plants lose more water and recover much more slowly than if you mow during the cooler part of the day. Another option is to wait until shade is on the lawn. Grass in the shade loses less water when cut and is quicker to rebound.
ADJUST MOWER HEIGHT
Adjust mower height throughout the growing season. For instance, shift the cutting deck higher in summer and allow grass to grow longer. Taller grass helps shade soil, which prevents weed growth and slows water evaporation from soil. Taller grass also develops deeper roots, which creates a lawn that can withstand drought better.
IDENTIFY SOIL TYPES
Explore your yard’s soil type to make the most effective lawn irrigation decisions. For instance, if you see puddling each time you water, your soil likely has high clay content. This type of soil cannot absorb water quickly, but instead requires repeated, shorter watering cycles. On the plus side, clay soil retains water longer than sandy soil, which needs more frequent watering. Lawn specialists may recommend a soil test to learn what kind of soil is hosting your grass and determine adjustments for irrigation cycles.
Newly sodded or seeded lawns need more irrigation than established turf. In most cases, Regal’s lawn specialists recommend watering new sod lawns daily for the first week. With sod, you can taper off watering after the first week to encourage grass to sink deep roots. For seeded lawns, twice daily watering ensures seedling success. Aim to keep the top inch of soil consistently moist. Keep up daily irrigation until you have mowed the grass at least once (or twice is even better).
Take time to observe the irrigation system. Note where water delivery is coating hard surfaces, like walks or driveways, or where puddling is occurring on the lawn. Adjust nozzles and irrigation duration as needed to ensure you are making the most efficient use of every drop of water.