If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it may be, but there are things you can do so your lawn is just as green. These 10 tips from USU Extension Assistant Professor Katie Wagner can help improve your lawn color and health.
- Have your soil tested. A routine soil test from the USU soil testing laboratory (USUAL) can provide valuable information on how to best manage your turfgrass.
- Apply fertilizer according to results on your soil test report and follow recommendations from USU Extension turfgrass experts. Two USU Extension fact sheets will provide you this information: Understanding Your Soil Test Report and Basic Turfgrass Care.
- Core aerate your lawn on an annual basis. Core aeration may help alleviate soil compaction and thatch build-up problems. Consider aerating in the spring.
- Keep the mowing height high. Allow grass blades to grow between 2 to 4 inches high. By maintaining taller blade lengths, the grass plant is better able to manage other sources of stress. You may want to consider replacing 4-inch sprinkler pop ups with 6-inch pop ups to provide water better clearance over taller blade lengths.
- Routinely sharpen your mower blades. Sharp blades provide a sharp cut to grass blades, reducing overall stress to the plant (in contrast to dull blades).
- Return grass clippings to the lawn. Contrary to popular belief, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch build-up and clippings break down over time and provide a valuable source of organic matter. In addition, less nitrogen is needed if clippings are returned in comparison to lawns where the clippings are collected and disposed off-site.
- Water according to your soil texture. Visit the website Slow The Flow and schedule an appointment for a water check. Auditors will test your system and give you a customized watering schedule for your specific conditions. The service is free for residents in participating counties.
- Follow the “Utah Weekly Lawn Watering Guide” on the Slow the Flow website for week-to-week watering recommendations throughout Utah.
- Routinely turn on and inspect your irrigation system for leaks and blocked or broken sprinkler heads. Don't wait for hot dry summer weather; make sure your irrigation system is properly functioning in the spring.
Sign up for USU Extension Turf Integrated Pest Management (IPM) advisories. Advisories provide expert advice on how to identify and manage turf pests (insects, diseases) of concern. Recipients receive advisories as an email and the service is free to use.
Author: USU Extension Assistant Professor Katie Wagner
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