Everyone likes the idea of a healthy, green, lush front lawn. However, if you aren’t an experienced homeowner or you’ve never done even the slightest bit of landscaping, that can be easier said than done. You need to ensure your grass stays healthy and stop any bare and brown spots from appearing.
However, once you learn the basics of lawn maintenance, you’ll find that taking care of your lawn can be a cherished hobby — instead of the struggle against the weather that it usually is when you don’t know what you’re doing. Luckily, simple changes to how you mow and water your lawn can have a huge positive impact! With that in mind, let’s consider some ideas from the best experts in lawn service Cedar Park has ever seen!
The first thing you should know about watering your lawn is that timing matters quite a lot. It’s usually best to water it in the early morning or late evening. That’s when the outdoor conditions will be at their coolest and most humid. As a result, less water will be lost to natural evaporation.
So, try to time your watering before 9 am or after 10 pm. Remember that, depending on your location, the water department may forbid watering at night to preserve water and stop waste caused by sprinklers.
However, regardless of when you water — you should have the water needs of your lawn in mind. And these can vary wildly depending on several factors, such as:
- Your lawn’s soil conditions
- The heat and general climate
- The current health of your lawn
- The grass species present on the lawn
You’ll find that cool-season grasses require less water than warm-season varieties, which can thrive even when they go without water for weeks. If you’re unsure about this, see if a local university or another relevant authority provides region-specific info on their website.
If you want to track how much water you’ve used while watering, leave open containers (like cans) on the lawn and measure them afterward. In general, shaded grass doesn’t need as much water—but this depends on whether it has any shrubbery and trees as competition.
Of course, don’t stick to predetermined plans if your lawn starts developing dry spots — you don’t want to wait for it to go brown. Instead, provide more water immediately and frequently inspect the lawn for color changes and wilting some time after.
One of the best ways to see if your lawn is too dry is to dig and check the soil. If the top two inches are still wet, you don’t need to water it again right away. And if you notice uneven wetness on the surface, you can always apply more water to the damaged areas.
Tips For Mowing Your Lawn
Don’t underestimate the importance of correctly mowing your lawn — the process significantly impacts the lawn’s long-term health. For starters, you should probably cut the grass higher than you’re doing right now. Healthier lawns usually have taller grass, so don’t go below two inches.
You may have heard that different seasons demand varying heights. This is mostly advice from older guides; modern science tells us that grass is healthier when it’s relatively tall throughout the year.
Also, always avoid cutting more than a third of the current height — anything over that means dealing significant damage to the blades of grass. So, considering that, what do you do if you’ve upset your mowing schedule and the grass is now too tall? Just cut a third of the height and wait a week before cutting a bit more; though, depending on the species, you may even need to do it sooner in spring conditions that are ideal for grass growth.
So, we’ve covered when you should water your lawn — but when should you mow it? Ideally, you want to do your mowing in dry and cool conditions. If you mow when the sun is at its hottest, you risk damaging the grass because that’s when it’s highly vulnerable.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t mow the grass when it’s too wet, either. You’ll have many clumped-up wet clippings unevenly distributed all over the lawn. Plus, if your lawnmower is older, the wet grass might damage its operator.
Here’s another pro tip — once you’re done with the mowing, don’t remove the grass clippings. If you leave them on the lawn, you’re creating better conditions for future growth. These clippings will be gone pretty soon; they decompose quickly and spread all kinds of vital nutrients through the surrounding soil. These are essential for your grass, but you can also take the clippings and use them in other parts of your garden.
Just remember that clippings from grass that received pesticide and herbicide treatment may harm your vegetables and make them inedible. And if you’ve heard that grass clippings help thatch grow, ignore that — it’s a common misconception.