PROMOTING LUSH AND GREEN TURF
The way to a lush lawn begins with an understanding of how lawns grow, and the needs of grass plants in terms of mowing, watering, and fertilizing. Misunderstandings and mistakes are common. Let’s start with what you may or may not mow about mowing.
How high or low you set the blade of your lawnmower is based on the needs of the lawn at the time, and that can change with the seasons. Probably the biggest mistake people make is setting the blade too low, cutting the grass short because they think they won’t have to mow as often, when in reality they are putting the health of their lawn in jeopardy, and having the exact opposite result.
First of all, photosynthesis takes place in the blades of the grass, creating sugar as a food source for the roots. When the blades are cut too short, the grass is stressed in its attempt to make enough sugar, and must work harder, thus growing faster. Letting the grass grow longer means it can produce even more sugar than it needs, and that goes into the production of new grass.
Another factor to consider is the competition between the grass and the weeds. Whichever gets the most sun will shade the other and disrupt its photosynthesis. Longer blades give grass the advantage in the competition with weeds. So set your mower high during the growing season (3 inches is good). In the fall you can lower the blade a little which allows the grass to dry off during cool rainy periods, helping to prevent fungus and disease.
When you do mow, use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the lawn. As they break down, they add nutritious organic material that feeds the grass and helps prevent thatch, which we will talk about next time.
* Thanks to Dr. Earth Gardening Guide for the above information. Giordano’s carries a full line of Dr. Earth products.