Saturday, July 20, 2024
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How to Keep Your Grass Green

As temperatures rise in the heart of summer, the struggle to keep grass green becomes real.

Putnam County UT Extension Agent Wayne Key said the key to a healthy yard is protecting your grass’ root system by watering regularly.

“It would be great to apply about a half to 1-inch of water within a 10 to 14-day period,” Key said. “That’s just to make sure that lawn maintains its root system and doesn’t completely desiccate and severely dry out over these very warm months.”

Key also said the time of day you water can have an effect on keeping your grass green. He suggests avoiding the hottest part of the day.

“We really recommend early morning or late in the afternoon or evening for irrigating,” Key said. “That also goes along with mowing. If you’re going to be mowing your yard throughout the dry season, we would recommend you mow higher than you typically would. It’s recommended that 3 to 4 inches is much better in dry weather.”

Changing up mowing patters is also something Key said he suggests. He said that will help keep the entire yard better covered to hold in moisture.

“If you’re mowing your lawn and you’re continuing the same pattern,” Key said, “then you blow that debris, thatch as they call it, here-and-there in different parts of the yard. When you do that, if you’re constantly mowing in the same direction, you are constantly feeding, so to speak. You’re mulching those particular areas and those particular sides where grass clippings are going to. And that holds in moisture and provides a good moisture barrier under the grass that’s there. If you continue to do that, they you have part of the yard that benefits and part of it that doesn’t. So, if you can change up that mowing pattern, it can make a difference, as well.”

With over a dozen different types of grass, and over 12,000 varieties, choosing a grass for your lawn. Key said there is no perfect grass for all seasons, but he does think you need to have a mixture of grasses in your yard.

“For here in Tennessee, tall fescue is going to be your best choice,” Key said. “I also definitely want to tell people we recommend a turf-type blend or turf-type mix of different fescue species in a lawn and not just one variety or one kind.”

According to the global marketing research firm Mintel, Americans spend over $29 billion a year on lawn care. Key said some of the most important work you can do to keep your grass green is outside of the growing season.

“The biggest thing you can help with in the fall is fertilization,” Key said. “Applying fertilizer and lime in the fall of the year. We recommend a soil test. You can come by the U.T. Extension Office, and we’ll be glad to give you a soil kit to send off a soil test to the lab. It takes about 10 to 14-days to get the results back. It will tell you how much lime to put and which lime will correct the pH. That way when the nutrients are there in the spring, the plants can take the nutrients up into the correct pH range. Of course the soil test will tell you phosphorus, potassium, and iron and how much of those to put on in a fertilizer mix.”

Key said he also warns people to be careful of trying to rid your yard of weeds in the dry season. He said pulling them out at this point can cause damage to the grass, making it less healthy. Key said to simply keep them mowed as short as you keep your grass.

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