Mow Frequently with Sharp Blades
Frequent cutting forces grass to grow thick and a thick lawn will help keep weeds out. Keep mower blades sharp so the grass isn’t beat up and made vulnerable to disease. Never cut more than a third of the grass blade at any one time. If your grass is three inches tall, cut only an inch or less. Any deeper and you’re “scalping” the blades, and putting your lawn at risk for disease. It can take two or three mowing cycles for the lawn to recover.
Don’t Cut Glass Blades Too Short
Mow using one of the higher settings on your mower. Tallgrass shades out weeds and promotes a deeper root system. The deeper the roots, the better your lawn will resist disease, and the less water it will require. The preferred mowing height for most Utah turf grasses is 2.5 to 3 inches.
Don’t Mow a Wet Lawn
Mowing when the lawn is saturated with water will compact the soil so the roots can’t breathe. When that happens, the grass dies and you’ll see bald spots in your lawn.
Leave Grass Clippings Where They Fall
If you’re cutting often, the clippings are short and will quickly decompose, adding nutrients back into the soil. Contrary to popular belief, grass clippings do not add to thatch buildup. Grass blades are made up of about 75% water and loaded with nutrients.
Water Deeply and Less Frequently
The key is to thoroughly water so moisture soaks down to the root zone. Light, frequent watering is less efficient and encourages a shallow root system. Watering requirements will vary based on the time of year, weather conditions, temperature, and soil conditions. For example, if your soil is sandy, it will not retain as much water as clay loam soil and will require more frequent watering in smaller volumes. As temperatures increase during the hot periods of summer, you will need more frequent watering applications to maintain a lush lawn. You may want to start out by watering once a week in early spring and increase to twice a week in late spring/early summer and then 3 times a week in the summer.
Avoid nighttime watering
Don’t put the lawn to sleep with wet feet. This Means to let the grass dry out before the dew falls – since prolonged moisture invites disease. The best time to water is pre-dawn or early morning, between 3-7 am. Watering during the day wastes water due to excessive evaporation and can scald the lawn when temperatures are high.
Core aeration softens the soil and creates pockets in the soil to help deliver air, water, fertilizer, and nutrients to the turf root system. Aeration helps with thatch build-up and promotes a healthy, vigorous lawn and root system. This is recommended once a year for residential lawns.