lawn care tips
Follow these steps to get your lawn off to a great start next spring.
- Lower the mowing height. For the last mowing of the year (try and do it before the snow falls) lower the mower to remove enough leaf blade to discourage the grass to lay over on itself. Long grass that over-winters creates the perfect conditions for snow mold which causes round brown patches in the lawn.
- Rake up leaves. When snow covers leaves and other debris that is left on the lawn, the grass can die out or at least grow snow mold. A clean lawn will over-winter better than a clutter filled lawn.
- Get the Winterizer Fertilizer. Turf grass will increase the root system to allow storage of nutrients. Fertilizing in October through November with a Winterizer Fertilizer will encourage the root growth and store the nutrients to be used next spring.
- Drain the sprinkler pipes. Frozen sprinklers and pipes almost always results in the need to dig up the lawn for repairs. Use an air compressor to blow the water out.
- Mow or hand-pull weeds before a treatment. Weed products work by entering the leaves. When the lawn is mowed, there are fewer, if any, weed leaves to capture the product.
- Watering too soon after an application. Allowing the weed-control product to stay on the plants for 12 to 24 hours gives the product sufficient time to get into the weed. Early irrigation can wash the product off before being absorbed.
- Mowing too soon after a treatment. Getting the product absorbed into the leaf is the first step. The second step is allowing time to travel to the roots. Mowing too soon can prevent the product from completely killing the weed. The weed responds by sending up more leaves! Waiting two days is preferred.
- Obliterating the edges of the lawn with a string trimmer. A beveled edge allows the summer weeds to grow by destroying the preemergent layer and offering no competition from the lawn. Use a straight blade edger instead.
A clean lawn edge is the crowning piece of a beautiful lawn, however when done improperly, weeds take advantage and grow. “Using a string trimmer to bevel the edges destroys the pre-emergent protective layer and heats up the soil. Summer weeds like Spurge and Crabgrass thrive in those areas,” says Blake Moore, owner of Moore Green. He prefers a straight blade power edger.
Efficient lawn watering has never been more important than it is today due to the water restrictions in place for most Utah cities. When our lawns are watered, we want to be sure that the water is reaching the root zone and eliminating run-off. Blake Moore, President of Moore Green recommends ‘Water Cycling’ to achieve this.
Water Cycling, simply put, is watering for shorter time periods but doing multiple ‘cycles’ back-to-back to allow gravity to pull water into the soil, virtually eliminating run-off. For example, let’s say that your system is watering a zone for 30 minutes. We would divide this into 3 cycles of 10 minutes each and space each cycle an hour apart. “Out of a 30 minute cycle it’s not uncommon to see the soil only take 10 minutes of watering and losing the other 20 minutes due to the clay content in our Utah soils. By watering 3 cycles of 10 minutes each, the soil has time to soak up the entire 30 minutes,” Moore says.
It’s important to know how much water your system is putting out in a given time period. This will help you know for how many minutes you should set each zone. Using the chart* will help you determine how many minutes you need to set each zone. Moore says, “This chart establishes a starting point. Every lawn is different because of soil type, slope, and sun exposure. But knowing where to start gets you going in the right direction”.
Those who take the time to know their irrigation system and use the Water Cycling method tend to have greener lawns and can go more days between watering. For those who don’t have secondary water may also see a lower water bill. Call the Moore Green office for more information.