Monday, June 9, 2014

The first cut is the deepest...oh, and the cut after that

This is not meant to be a spanking so much as an education as we move through the season.
I really find it shocking, with most homeowners being so passionate about their lawns, I would find so much of this...why in the name of god would you cut your grass so short? Is the PGA Tour coming to your backyard?

Ok...ok...maybe it's not you? Someone cuts it for you?

I understand we all got a late start this year due to a slow warm up, but just because you're trying to get caught up with your customer base doesn't mean it's open season to scalp a lawn.

You're stressing the health of the lawn out by taking more than a third of the blade off the grass. And guess what? That's when weeds and insect problems appear, not to mention crab grass as we move into the hotter months.

Grass needs to be at a length between 2 1/2 to 3 inches to maintain a healthy disposition. Believe me, you'd be a much happier camper if you'd follow this simple protocol.

Also grass cycling is encouraged unless the turf is so long when you cut it, it leaves a sea of clippings that will smoother the lawn. Grass clippings are about 90 percent water by weight. Because they are high in protein they should be left on the lawn to decompose and return vital nutrients back to the soil. The average lawn produces clippings at a rate of about 200 pounds per square foot each year. For every 100 m² of lawn, consistent grass-cycling done for the entire season returns one ton of nutritious clippings to the soil. The use of a mulching type mower is ideal for grass-cycling as it results in a more uniform distribution of grass clippings, and allows for quicker decomposition.

Another trend I am seeing  a lot of is the rampant use of Round-up on home lawns. Look, I understand you're frustrated with Weed B Gon as a weed control alternative and Round-up reminds you of the good old days with its absolute kill, but there is a reason they make you sign the waiver not to use it on the lawn, people. Glyphosate kills everything and then you have turf that looks like it's been visited by tiny aliens in the night and there is an abundance of hay-coloured crop circles everywhere.

Finally, for some reason I have seen a few issues where the grass has reacted to a momentary brain-fart. Let me explain. If you are having new windows installed, make sure the old ones are not placed on your lawn with the full sun beating down. Same goes for pool covers and any other items that act as a magnifying glass. I have seen a fair-share of rectangular burns and discolouration this year for some reason.
Please remember that you, the home owner, are an important part in the health of your lawn and if you neglect or abuse your task it doesn't matter what I do. It will be an uphill battle.

Here endith the lesson.

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