5 Turf Management Tips for Your Lawn

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A healthy lawn requires proper turf management. The following tips can help you develop a care plan for your lawn.

1. Fertilize Properly

Healthy lawns need nitrogen to stay green, phosphorus to grow well, and many micronutrients to remain healthy. Lawn fertilizers are designed to provide just the nutrients necessary in the correct ratios, but these formulations are typically made for well-balanced soils -- which may not be the case in every yard. A better option is to have a professional soil test performed. Use the results to determine the best fertilizer blend and application schedule for the specific nutrient needs of your yard.

2. Change the Mower Height

A common mistake is mowing the grass too low, which doesn't leave enough leaf surface for proper photosynthesis and healthy growth. Raise your mower blade so that the grass is cut no shorter than 3 inches. Each time you mow, plan to take off no more than 1/2 to 1 inch of the grasses height. This way your lawn is deeper and lusher. Not only will this help with energy production for the grass, but it will also shade the soil so it doesn't dry out as fast.

3. Avoid Shallow Watering

Shallow watering only wets the top inch or two of soil, which results in plants with shallow roots and weak growth. Instead, reduce your watering schedule to two or three times a week instead of daily. Then, increase the amount of water to enough to soak the top 6 inches of soil, which is about 1 to 2 inches of water at each irrigation. You can use a soil meter to gauge watering depth and amount so you can adjust your sprinklers accordingly.

4. Improve Moisture Penetration

The top of the soil can become compacted and covered in thatch, which prevents moisture and nutrients from penetrating to the root zone. Use a dethatching rake to remove the excess thatch from the soil surface. Follow this up by having the lawn aerated using a core aerator. This should be done every year or two so that the soil remains porous and arable.

5. Over-Seed Annually

Bare spots can develop naturally, especially along commonly walked paths. Fresh seed helps prevent the problem since there is always fresh grass coming in to take the place of that which doesn't survive. Over-seed in spring when the soil tends to remain moist for longer periods of time. Rake and aerate first so that the seeds come in contact with soil at the base of the existing grass plants. This improves their chances of germinating and growing.

Contact a turf management service for more help with your lawn.

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17 March 2020

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