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Taking care of your turf

Hello fellow gardeners,

It is the start of June and it looks like we are in for a hot and dry summer. That causes some great concerns when it comes to maintaining your yard.

If you are a person that often uses products such as Weed N Feed or other fertilizers, now is the time to make your last application before heading into drought season. Some lawn care companies will try and fertilize all summer. Fertilizing in the heat of the summer causes more stress on your yard as it encourages growth when there is not enough precipitation to support such endeavors.

If you must fertilize, realize that if we have less than a inch of rain a week, you will need to water the lawn to keep it green and lush. To minimize water usage it is more effective to water early in the morning and instead of watering daily, consider a twice a week deep watering. Watering less often but for longer amount of time will encourage a deeper root system and healthier turf.

Another key component is mowing. Best practice is to mow at a height of 3-3.5 inches. This is higher than most people set their mowers. The advantage to a high mow is it makes a dense stand of turf that helps crowd out weeds. Mowing more frequently is also important. You only want to cut off one third the height of the grass at a time. If you want to maintain the 3 inch height, mow when the grass is 4.5 inches or so. More frequent mowing is less stressful on the grass than waiting for your lawn to get tall and then scalp it short. When grass gets too tall, it will crowd itself out.

The last key to a healthy lawn is keeping your mower blade sharp. As a blade dulls it actually rips the grass instead of cleanly cutting it. You can tell if the blade is getting dull if after mowing the grass has white jagged edges. A dull blade damages the grass and makes it more susceptible to disease and causes greater

Here is a great article and image about damaged grass: Sharpen Blades

Once again, if any neighbor has any yard or garden questions, please e-mail me at

Your neighborhood Master Gardener,

Jesse Beck

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