am interested in knowing how I can maintain a lush green lawn,
without doing quite as much damage to the environment? In other
words, can my lawn stay green without me being mean?”
overall goal of turf grass management is to produce healthy
turf. Healthy turf will provide you with the highest quality
lawn possible, while being less dependent on pesticides. A
healthy lawn can be achieved through a combination of
common-sense practices, known as
or IPM for short. IPM techniques let you maintain an
attractive, healthy lawn, while having as low of an impact on
the environment as possible.
Proper lawn care is probably the most useful IPM method for
managing pests and controlling appearance. Good cultural
practices that reduce weed and insect problems in the lawn
include proper mowing height, correct watering techniques, and
effective fertilization applications.
Raise that mower up!
Most homeowners mow their lawns too short, resulting in more
sunlight reaching the soil surface, which encourages weed seeds
to germinate and open a lawn to a weed infestation. Weed
problems from mowing a lawn too short usually results in the
homeowner applying more herbicides to control the weeds, which
is not necessary. Here in Clintonville, we recommend you mow
your lawn near 3 inches to maintain a dense, lush lawn.
Sharpen that mower blade!
A dull mower blade will tear the grass leaf leaving a ragged
appearance and browning at the tips. This can result in
increased turf disease problems, so have your lawn mower blade
sharpened at least a couple of times a season to maintain a
better looking, healthier lawn.
Know how to water!
Watering properly will help your lawn grow deep roots that make
it stronger and less vulnerable to drought. It’s best to water
only when the lawn really needs it, and then water slowly and
deeply. Many people water too often and do not use enough
water, which trains the turf grass roots to turn up near the
surface, making it difficult for the lawn to find moisture
during dry periods. It is also best to water during the early
morning hours, to help reduce evaporation and help avoid certain
diseases forming on the leaf blades overnight.
Feed that lawn!
Proper fertilization will improve turf color and density, and
the growth of the grass will be rapid enough to discourage weed
invasion, thus eliminating the need for herbicides. Use a
slow-release form of nitrogen for a more uniform growth over a
longer period of time, which will also reduce the number of
seasonal applications necessary to maintain a healthy lawn.
Let your lawn breathe!
Thatch is a layer of dead plant material, that can build up to
one-half inch thick or more, preventing water and nutrients from
penetrating to the soil and grass roots. The practice of core
aeration once or twice a season will reduce your lawn’s thatch
level, and stimulate new growth. Spring and fall are the best
times of the year to core aerate your lawn, which also
encourages uniform turf color and reduces soil compaction.