Proper Lawn Maintenance - From Cutting to Cleanup.

Proper maintenance of your lawn during the growing season may seem like a pretty straightforward, simple (yet time-consuming & labor intensive) task. While this can be true, following some general guidelines is essential to ensuring your lawn has every opportunity to thrive during the growing season. The following practices will maintain a healthy, hardy lawn while also being environmentally conscious...

  • Keep those blades sharp. 
    • Sharp blades provide a clean cut lawn. By "clean cut" we mean that the grass is sliced off at a desired, consistent height. Dull blades tend to "tear" at the grass blades, causing them to stress and brown. 
  • Stick to the one-third rule.
    • Never cut more than one-third of the total length of grass off in one mowing. For example, if your grass has reached a height of 6 inches, set your mower to 4 inches to prevent cutting off more than one-third (2 inches) of the total grass length in one mowing. 
  • Proper mowing heights for different types of grass are below:
    • Tall Fescue: 2.5 - 3.5 inches
    • Bermudagrass: 1 - 2 inches
    • Bluegrass: 2 -3 inches
    • Buffalograss: 2 - 3 inches
    • Perennial Ryegrass: 2 - 3 inches
    • Zoysiagrass: 1 -2 inches
  • The controversial mulching vs. bagging argument..
    • While bagging grass clipping has become fairly common practice, especially in the last 15-20 years, mulching grass clippings has been proven to have many positive effects on the health of a lawn. Firstly, mulching grass clippings returns nutrients to the lawn which can provide up to 25% of required annual nitrogen to the turf. Secondly, mulching helps the environment by reducing the amount of grass being dumped into landfills. Finally, sweeping or blowing the mulched clippings back into the lawn not only keeps valuable nutrients in place, but also reduces excess runoff into streams and rivers. An excess of yard waste present in streams and rivers can lead to unnatural levels of nitrogen that create "dead spaces" that are devoid of oxygen and detrimental to marine life. 
  • Scoop the poop!
    • Dealing with pet waste can be a huge hassle. It can be time consuming and downright stinky. Be that as it may, proper handling and disposal of pet waste is crucial in order to protect your lawn and the environment. Pet waste left on the lawn or washed into streams and rivers decomposes and the nutrients and bacteria left over create excess amounts of algae and weeds, leading to poor survivability of lawns and marine life. 
      • Pick up, bag, and dispose of pet waste regularly to avoid these problems. Do not compost pet waste as waste from meat eaters contains parasites, bacteria, and viruses that do not fully break down in the composting process and can be passed on to humans.