Your Lawn’s Success Depends on Its Foundation
In the cool state of Maine, the key to a flourishing lawn, especially those with cool-season grass, lies in the foundation. The grass in this region thrives in 55-65 degrees weather. However, when temperatures rise, stress signs from diseases and insects can surface. Notably, not all lawns are equally affected. Some lawns manage to maintain their lush look better than others, and it all begins with the foundation.
Providing basic lawn care, such as fertilizing and pest management, coupled with a strong foundation, puts you ahead of the game. Still, here are a few often overlooked yet crucial secrets to improve your lawn’s vigor and resilience before the summer heat arrives.
Preempt the Heatwave with Smart Mowing
Always keep an eye on the weather forecast. Don’t mow your lawn just before a heatwave! Instead, aim to provide your lawn with at least a two-day buffer before the mercury hits 90 degrees. Mowing immediately before a heatwave risks tip burn, which imposes unnecessary stress on your grass. While your lawn will eventually recover, a bit of planning can easily avoid this stress.
Set Your Mower to a Higher Cut
Mowing taller promotes deeper root growth, enabling your lawn to access more moisture and nutrients from the soil. It’s crucial to remember that the depth of the roots directly corresponds to the height at which you consistently mow your lawn. In essence, the taller you mow, the deeper the roots go.
Sharpen Your Mower Blades
Dull blades result in shredded grass tips, making your lawn not only looks unsightly but also susceptible to disease. It’s because pathogens can easily infiltrate these fresh wounds. Homeowners should aim to sharpen their blades twice per season, while landscapers mowing daily should consider sharpening 2-3 times per week.
Understand Your Soil
In our area, leaf blight is a common disease this time of year (June-July). This disease tends to appear when the heat increases and almost always in areas where the subsoil is poor. Often, grass growing in gravel areas appears healthy but succumbs quickly to this disease under the scorching heat. These areas are generally the first to show signs of disease and stress, primarily due to the poor soil underneath. However, you’ll find that just two feet away, the grass may be perfectly fine.
A simple trick to understand your soil better is to take a screwdriver and poke around in it. If you encounter any rocks, supplemental water will always be necessary for these areas. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your soil and adjust your watering practices accordingly.
Consistency is Key
Inconsistent mowing can be highly detrimental to your lawn’s health, especially when preparing for the summer heat. Regular and consistent mowing practices are critical to maintaining a thick and lush lawn. Avoid undermining the work done by a management company with poor mowing habits. Remember, even the most essential practices, like watering and mowing, need your consistent attention. Not being able to water can be dealt with, and poor mowing practices spell disaster.
Proper and consistent mowing techniques, coupled with good watering practices, can significantly enhance your lawn’s resilience against summer heat. If investing in services to improve your lawn, don’t let inconsistent mowing and improper watering waste your money. By taking these tips into consideration, you’re setting your lawn up for success, ready to thrive against the weather’s challenges.