Mowing and Watering- When and how much

As an average homeowner, especially a first time homeowner, the lawn is completely new territory with a lot of guesswork. I spend a lot of my time correcting issues that could have been easily prevented with the right advice so I'm going to tackle some of these issues starting with grass: cutting and watering. 

These tips focus on our cooler northern location with grasses like bluegrass and fescue but this information can also apply to warmer climates as well. 

1. Use a sharp blade and adjust your cutting height to the time of year.

During the spring use a lower blade height. This allows more sunlight to reach grass and seeds. When it heats up and summer arrives, switch to a higher blade height to prevent weed growth. The taller grass keeps the sunlight from reaching weeds that are trying to grow. 

2. Be careful not to stress your grass. 

In a cool climate like ours your grass should be allowed to grow at least 3-4 inches and your target for cutting should only be the top 1/3 of the blade. This top 1/3 of the blade is thin and quick to decompose which means you can also leave these clippings. Leaving the clippings of the top 1/3 of the grass behind is actually good for your lawn because it helps slow water evaporation. Cutting any further will result in thicker grass clippings that will cause more harm than good by trapping instead of slowing evaporation

3. Give your lawn a good watering and do it early in the morning

Waiting until the afternoon or evening to water your lawn is a bad idea because it makes your lawn susceptible to problems caused by mold and fungi. You'll want to water early and long enough so that the soil is moist at least 4 inches under the grass. Wait until the soil has dried at least one inch below the grass to water again. 

Your yard serves a very important purpose. It cools your home and releases oxygen to keep you and your family healthy so keep it up. Hopefully these tips for a healthy yard will get you off to a good start in the direction of a lush green yard.