Mow High, Often and With Sharp Blades

Mowing high–that is, keeping your lawn a bit long–will produce stronger, healthier grass with fewer pest problems.

Longer grass has more leaf surface to take in sunlight. This enables it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system, which in turn helps the grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage, and fend off diseases. Longer grass also shades the soil surface keeping it cooler, helping it retain moisture, and making it difficult for weeds to germinate and grow.

A lawn’s ideal length will vary with the type of grass, but many turf grass species are healthiest when kept between 2-1/2 and 3-1/2 inches. The ruler at the back of this brochure will help the best mowing height for your grass variety. You may have to readjust your mower–most are set too low.

It’s also important to mow with sharp blades to prevent tearing and injuring the grass. And it’s best to mow often, because grass adjusts better to frequent than infrequent mowing. The rule of thumb is to mow often enough that you never cut more than one-third of the height of the grass blades. Save some time and help your lawn and the environment by leaving short clippings on the grass–where they recycle nitrogen–rather than sending them in bags to the landfill.

You don’t have to grow a foot-high meadow to get good results. Just adding an inch will give most lawns a real boost.

Correct Thatch Build-Up

All grass forms a layer of dead plant material, known as thatch, between the grass blades and the soil. When thatch gets too thick–deeper than one-half inch–it prevents water and nutrients from penetrating to the soil and grass roots. Some grasses tend to form a thick layer of thatch. Overuse of fertilizer can also create a heavy layer of thatch.

You can reduce thatch by raking the lawn or using a machine that slices through the thatch layer to break it up. Sprinkling a thin layer of topsoil or compost over the lawn will also help.

In a healthy lawn, microorganisms and earthworms help keep the thatch layer in balance by decomposing it and releasing the nutrients into the soil.

Healthy Soil = Healthy Lawn

Develop Healthy Soil

Good soil is the foundation of a healthy lawn. To grow well, your lawn needs soil with good texture, some key nutrients, and the right pH, or acidity/alkalinity balance. (more…)

Shrubs for Fall Foliage

Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) – Zones 2-8. This viburnum will grow 6-10′ tall and wide, and is a popular choice for fall foliage color in the landscape. Like most viburnums, Arrowwood is easy to grow in a wide variety of garden conditions and will tolerate full sun to part shade. White flowers provide spring beauty and summer fruit attracts birds to the garden. This viburnum Fall color will have yellow to orange or burgundy-red fall colors, adding lots of beauty to the autumn garden. (more…)