Summer is coming, Nashville, and it’s time to brush up on a few simple lawn maintenance tips to keep your grass looking lush and beautiful. The combination of hot temperatures and heavy rains can do damage to your lawn. This is particularly true if it is planted with cool weather grass like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue.
The key to keeping your lawn healthy in the summer revolves around two simple tasks: lawn mowing and watering. Done right, a properly mowed and irrigated lawn can stay lush and green throughout the summer. Done wrong, roots could be damaged, and the blades can be exposed to disease.
At the Parke Company, we have been serving the Nashville metro area as a premiere landscaping service for over three decades. We know the most common mistakes that homeowners make in their summertime lawn care. To avoid unintentional damage to your lawn, we are offering simple guidelines to keep your lawn healthy, lush, and green.
Mowing – Buzz Cuts are Not in Fashion in Nashville
Mowing can be a hot, sweaty chore. It’s not surprising that some people give their lawns a buzz cut thinking that they won’t have to repeat the process as many times because it will take a while for the grass to grow tall enough to need another mowing. Unfortunately, if they do that often enough, they won’t have to worry about mowing at all because the grass will most likely turn brown and go dormant.
Taller grass is healthier grass. When grass is allowed to grow to 2.5” to 3”, it actually shades the soil, lowering the temperature and slowing evaporation. Here are a few tips on correct mowing.
- Tune up your mower. Inspect/replace the spark plug and check for oil or fuel leaks. Most importantly, have the blade sharpened. A dull blade does not cut the grass, it tears it. Ragged tips on the grass invite disease.
- Set the lawnmower to a 2.5” cut. If you are uncertain of the height, just set it as high as it will go.
- Change up your mowing pattern. Mow north to south and then east to west on your next outing. Changing up patterns keeps the lawn looking level.
- Using a mower with a bag or a mulching mower will minimize thatch buildup. Deep raking or thatching should not be attempted until the fall.
Watering – Giving Your Lawn a Tall Drink of Water
The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service says that typically lawns need 1” to 1.5” of water per week. That’s a flow rate equal to 630 to 945 gallons of water. Infrequent, deep watering is far more effective than daily light irrigation. Ideally, the watering session will reach 4” to 6” into the soil.
The Extension Service advises that the best time to water to minimize evaporation and the possibility of watering lingering on the surface of the grass is between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. If that’s not possible, try 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
So, the takeaway is to use a sharp blade, don’t cut your grass too short, and give your lawn a deep drink instead of sprinkling daily.