Lawn Care Tips
LAWN CARE TIP #1 – CUT THE LENGTH OF YOUR GRASS HIGHER
Some people like to believe of their lawn as their own putting green. However, your grass will be much happier, healthier, and greener if you raise your mower deck a bit.
The first step to this new way of thinking is to raise the height of your mower. Here in Iowa at least 3-1/2 inches of height is recommended.
Taller grass has several benefits:
The larger mass of grass blades makes the grass look greener overall, and problem spots will look less obvious than they did when you were mowing at shorter lengths.
The extra green on top delivers more nutrients to the roots and helps them grow deep into the soil, giving your lawn better access to water and making it more tolerant during periods of dry weather. Deeper roots are able to penetrate the soil to reach nutrients.The thicker root mass and the taller blades of grass helps crowd out weeds by keeping weed seeds from germinating and crowding out any unwanted plant pests that do manage to germinate.
Taller grass leaves help keep the sun off the soil, helping to preserve its water content.Your lawn will require less mowing. Cutting your lawn short stimulates the plants to try to grow faster to make up for their lost greenery.
Finally, most lawn professionals recommend not cutting off more than a 1/3 of your grass at any one time. Cutting more than 1/3 at a time can put undo stress on your lawn. So, if you’re going for a cut height of 3-1/2 inches, you will want to mow the grass by the time it gets to almost 5 inches tall.
LAWN CARE TIP #2 – KEEP YOUR MOWER BLADES SHARP
Your mower blade is key to getting that perfect cut. It’s easy to think that all you need to do is change your oil once a season and give up a tune up every once and awhile. But the mower blade is something that needs attention at least once a season here in Iowa, and two or three times might even be necessary, depending on how often you are mowing and how much you are mowing. Sharpening the blade will make it easier for your mower to cut the grass and, more importantly, will avoid tearing the grass and wounding the grass blades, which makes them more susceptible to infection and evaporative loss.
Des Moines has plenty of power-equipment dealers, lawn mower shops, and hardware stores who can sharpen your blade for a small fee. Investing in your own sharpening wheel will save you money in the long run. If you choose to purchase your own sharpening wheel it is important to read up on the proper angle for your blade.
LAWN CARE TIP #3 – AERATE YOUR LAWN ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR
Aerating your lawn is a great way to allow water, air, and nutrients to get into the root zone of the lawn. Aerating also helps eliminate thatch as well. Aerating in Iowa is typically done in the spring (March – May) and/or in the fall (September – October)