One of the areas in our landscape that consumes the most water is the lawn. Lawns need a certain amount of water to look good and stay healthy, but too much or too little water can create problems that could be avoided.
You must first decide what quality of lawn you want. This means do you want a “no care lawn” or a “showy lawn”. Most of us fall somewhere in-between the two. August is a month when lawns tend to wane some with the warm temperatures that occur in August. Listed below are some ways to help your lawn look its best this month.
Water correctly: Lawns need about 1 inch of water per week right now. It doesn’t matter whether it falls from the sky or comes out of a house. If you don’t have a rain gauge, get one as it will help monitor moisture. During summer months lawn roots are about 3-4 inches deep and will go deeper as fall comes. Moisture is important at this time of the year.
Times to Water: On sandy soils, lawns should be watered every day as sandy soils do not retain water very long. On heavier soils it can be every other day. Its best to water during daylight or late afternoon hours as this will allow grass to dry. Watering in the evening or overnight creates wet grass and with warm nights can enable lawn fungal diseases to become active.
Mowing heights: Set your mowing height at a higher setting than you have been. An ideal height for the month of August is 3.5”. The longer the grass blade, the larger the root system of the lawn will be. A larger root mass will support a more robust grass plant. This will also help shade out any weed growth as longer grass blades discourage weed growth.
Nutrients for the lawn: August is a good time to evaluate your lawn for nutrients. If you have been fertilizing all summer and you are not getting results, a soil test may be something you want to do. This will help determine a plan of action for the fall to get your lawn back in shape.
Listen to me every Friday at 11:50am as I talk live with Terry Henne on the Farm Show on 790am WSGW.