Seasonal Facts from your friends at NatureScape Services
Cut your grass as high as you can stand it (2-1/2" to 3-1/2") remembering that the shorter you cut it the more often you need to mow so you don't take off more than 1/3 of the blade with each cutting! The longer length also keeps the grass cooler, and helps shade the root system which is very helpful if watering is a problem.
Always water your lawn a day or two before mowing so that you're not cutting stressed turf. It's too late to water after you've cut the lawn, as the damage has already been done. If you can't water and the lawn is dry, wait for rainfall and then mow the lawn. Water in early morning or early afternoon if possible. This allows time for your lawn to dry out before dark and cuts down on disease problems.
Watering your lawn properly is tricky! If you have an automatic sprinkling system, I suggest that you only use the timer when you're away on vacation. This prevents you from over or under watering your lawn. Pay attention to the weather and your lawn! If you see smoke colored areas popping up it's time to water, turn on your system and run it through a cycle. The smoke colored areas are spots that are starting to dry out first,and the rest of the lawn will soon follow along. As a rule of thumb your lawn needs 1-1/2" of water per week. Assuming the heat index has not been in the 90's for weeks at a time you'll want to break the weekly watering amount into 3 different watering days. Should temperatures stay in the 90's for a long period of time, just add another watering day to account for evaporation. Start by setting the spray zones to run 15-20 minutes per zone (these are the heads that come up but don't turn). Set the rotor zones to run 45-60 minutes per zone (these heads come up and turn). This allows a deep watering so your lawns' root system will go deeper toward the water. Shallow watering practices mean shallow roots and a lawn that's easily stressed and dried out as the sun is baking the soil. If you really want to know exactly how long each zone needs to run, set a flat pan out in the middle of the zone and let the zone run for a specified time. When it's done, measure the water in the pan and if it registers 1/2" you've hit the right amount of time. Adjust each zone accordingly if you're over or under the mark and you'll be on your way to a healthier turf!
Feel free to call our office with any questions you may have, we are always willing to share our expertise with you, and if we don't have the answer, we'll get the answer and get back to you.