I had a good time this morning doing something out of the ordinary. I spent about an hour with Brenda Washington from KMBC Channel 9 News filming some short summer time lawn tips. Below is an outline that I used for the filming and even though it’s not good grammar it has valuable points. I’ll keep you posted when the clips are to run.
• Mowing Height
o Keep at 3-4” tall. (demonstrate with Ruler) Taller means deeper roots and shade for the crown of the plant. = more drought hardy. Professionals have equipment that can mow taller and that is ok if the grass doesn’t fall over.
o Scalping too short (show mowed section along curb to demonstrate) leads to burn out and weeds.
o Stay away from “heavy” high nitrogen fertilizers. Salts can burn the lawn.
o Professional programs that “spoon feed” the lawn or the use of composted products that slowly feed the lawn are good. Like taking daily vitamins.
• Watering Lawns, Trees & Shrubs
o Lawns need 1-2” of water per week. Deeply and infrequently is better than a little bit every day.
o Demonstrate how to calibrate both hand sprinkler and irrigation system with a simple bucket and ruler. Irrigation systems should be inspected by professionals at least once during the growing season.
o Trees and shrubs need water about 1x/week also. Demonstrate trickle with hose and moving under drip line.
o Best time to water is early morning, watering at night promotes disease. Address the wives tail of watering after you finish mowing.
• How To Let a Lawn Go Dormant
o Lawns can survive about 4-6 weeks w/o water. Permanent damage occurs after that. Like last year.
o Raise mowing height to tallest setting. Don’t mow if grass isn’t growing.
o If no rainfall, water every 10 days to keep crowns hydrated. More frequently leads to weed invasions
o Don’t let lawns go dormant, green up, and go dormant again. Very hard on lawn and may not come back.
o Don’t let lawns less than 1 year old go dormant. They need more rooting and reserve energy.
o Hand pull or spot treat weeds. Generally not a problem if no water then no weed germination.