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Watering and Mowing at the End of Summer

Monday, August 27 2012 9:51 AM

Fall weather and the return of the rains can’t come soon enough for most states. As much of the country has been experiencing drought or, at very least, periods of below-average rainfall, for most of 2012, the recent drop in temperatures have been a welcome sign that the oppressive heat and lack of rainfall may soon be coming to an end. All across the nation, the lawn mowers have been coming out from their hot weather hibernation in their garages. Most would agree that it’s time to get back out in the lawn – time to trim off that dead grass and get down to the green lurking beneath. But during this period of transition from the dead heat of summer to the cool, wet growing season, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind so that you’ll benefit your lawn, rather than cause further distress or damage. It all starts with proper watering.

If your area of the nation has suffered through the long-lasting heat wave and drought that captured much of the nation, your grass is probably in a state of dormancy. The grass may look yellow and dead, but you’ll find that cooler temperatures and a little watering may have that yellow lawn looking green and beautiful in no time at all.

Before you take to the lawn with aggressive mowing, keep in mind that your lawn needs watering. More importantly, your lawn needs proper watering. After an unseasonably-dry period, many folks are tempted to drag out the hoses and sprinklers and let them run until the lawn is saturated. Although there is much to be said about deep watering, you’ll want to take note of a few tips that may prevent you from over-watering and negatively impacting your grass.

Tips for Watering at the end of a Dry Summer:

1. Before beginning a watering regimen, it may be worth your time to check with your city and find out if your area is under any kind of water-use restriction. It’s no secret that the summer of 2012 was dry, and many cities and counties across the nation are under watering restrictions. You can check your city website for water restriction news or call your local water company.

2. Plan your watering to match your lawn type. Many folks don’t realize that different types of grass require different methods of watering. If you have Bluegrass Fescue in your lawn, it may require up to two-inches of water per week during hot weather. If you have Zoysia, you may only need about one-inch per week. If you’re not sure, get in touch with your local lawn and garden center. They’ll get you sorted out.

3. Water deeply to encourage good root growth. Shallow watering is good for seed germination. Deep watering means that you should be penetrating the soil at a depth of 6-8 inches. You can take a shovel and cut in to an area of the lawn, peel it back, and see how deep the watering is going.

4. Lastly, water during the early morning hours to make use of the cooler temperatures. And make sure that you aim your sprinklers toward the lawn (not the street or the driveway).

Once the lawn starts coming back into shape, keep the grass mowed to a height of about 2-3 inches. In the meantime, this is a great time of year to perform a mid-season tune-up on your mower. The MoJack line of lawn mower lifts have been designed to lift nearly every mower type. Blade sharpening and accumulated debris removal has never been so easy.