1. Normal Watering
Level Lawns require watering twice a week, at 1½" depth for each watering. Hills and slopes require more water because of runoff. If you notice water runoff, move your sprinkler to another spot, then return to your original spot. Generally, the best time to water an established lawn is before it gets hot in the middle of the day. During periods of hot weather, it is preferable not to water in the evening, as this will encourage fungi and disease problems.
Don't make the mistake of allowing your lawn to lose its deep green color by discontinuing watering too soon!
2. Special or Recuperative Watering
During the hot summer months, especially whenever the temperature approaches 90°, a lawn will have a tendency to "brown out" if special attention is not given to watering. The first sign of inadequate moisture will be the appearance of dark, smoky areas during the late afternoon. This may continue for a period of several days, with the grass recovering with the cooler night temperature and dew. Water must be applied before this recovery cycle stops, or many weeks of watering will be needed in order to revive the lawn. Remember, once the soil has dried out (as you may find upon returning home from vacation) the ground becomes extremely hard, and will not absorb water readily.
Therefore, we suggest that you water every day, during the hot summer months, at least 1½" of water, for 7 to 10 days. As the temperature cools, you can cut back to your normal twice a week schedule.
3. Mowing and Raking
We recommend the use of a rotary type mower, with a cutting blade that is razor-sharp. Lawns must be kept free of all debris (such as leaves, twigs, etc.), not only during the germinating period but throughout the season.
4. Cutting Height
During the cooler Spring temperatures (below 90°) you can encourage your lawn to thicken by cutting it to a height of 2½" every 5 to 7 days. When consistently high temperatures begin during the summer, raise the cutting height of your mower to 3½". This helps your lawn to retain moisture and combat crabgrass and other weeds. Beginning in the Fall, when the cooler weather arrives, gradually lower your mower's cutting height back to 2½". The final cutting in the Winter should be at a height of between 1½" and 2".
Note: Zoysia grass should be cut between 1" and 1½" all year long.
New weeds will constantly appear in your lawn with changes in temperature and rainfall until your lawn is thick and healthy enough to keep them out.
Newly seeded areas must initially be thoroughly soaked with 1" of water 3 or 4 days in a row. These areas should be kept moist throughout the germination and seedling period. Grass which is seeded in the Fall and Winter generally will not appear until the following Spring. Please be patient.
It takes between 2 and 3 years to obtain control of crabgrass. Proper mowing and watering, as was discussed earlier, and a thick, healthy lawn is the best defense against crabgrass and weeds.
8. Insects and Disease
Controls for insects and disease damage are applied throughout the season. However, depending on many factors (the quality of the lawn, variety of grass, condition of the soil, and in particular the amount of thatch that is allowed to accumulate) the "automatic control" of insects and disease will vary. We depend on each of our customers to keep us posted on any problems they may encounter.
9. Aeration and Over-seeding
The process of aeration and over-seeding go hand-in-hand. This combined turf care practice is the single most valuable thing that can be done to strengthen and beautify a lawn. Aeration allows nutrients, moisture, and air to penetrate the soil and stimulate grasses. over-seeding is also valuable because it introduces improved cultivars of seed that are insect and disease resistant, and drought tolerant. Aeration also breaks up hard, compacted soil, allowing these new grasses to properly establish deep roots. In addition, aeration ensures much better control of insects (grubs in particular) by allowing pesticides to easily penetrate the layer of thatch, and to do their job quickly and efficiently.
According to the University of Maryland, thatch is the single most serious turf care problem and, short of stripping the entire lawn, aeration has proven to be the most effective method of controlling thatch.
Lawns should be aerated at least once, and preferably twice, per year.
For a free estimate and evaluation please call us or fill in the contact form.
- Located in Ellicott City, Maryland, we specialize in lawn care, professional mowing, and landscaping services for residential and commercial clients.
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- MDA Pesticide License # 23902
- Maryland Professional Fertilizer Applicator # MDA-F-0684