With the beginning of summer and all the rainfall coming down, it’s officially lawn care season. Agrologist Sheri Roberts shares on how to mow and water your grass for a healthy, maintained lawn.  

“Kentucky bluegrass should be being cut about 2 1/2 to 3 inches, and most people cut it too short. In doing that you're stressing out that plant because the more grass blade that plant has to make food with, the more nutrients go down to that root system, and you build a stronger, healthier lawn in the long run.” 

Roberts also remarks on ideal grass conditions, as well as maintaining your mower and dealing with lawn clippings.  

“If you're mowing in this type of wet conditions, you want to also make sure and remove the grass clippings. If you have a lot of them in piles, what will happen is it's wet, and it sits there, and it'll heat up and it will actually kill the grass underneath it.” 

“Don't mow it when it's wet, let it dry off as much as possible because it's number one hard on your lawn mower, and number two it's hard on the grass. If you have a dull lawnmower blade, it's real hard on the grass too. You can see it will have a dull tan-ish sheen to it if your lawn mower blade is dull and you need to have a nice clean clip, because if you have a shredded clip then it doesn't heal over as well and it makes the lawn more susceptible to diseases.” 

Roberts addresses questions about watering your lawn, beginning with the importance of watering your lawn at the right time of day. 

“With the watering bans, you want to water at night, and that's the worst thing for grass because fungal diseases love it cool and wet. If you have a kentucky bluegrass lawn and it's shaded for part of the day, and we've had so much cool and wet conditions, it's probably going to end up with a with a big case of powdery mildew.” 

When asked if overwatering was possible, Roberts responded: 

“When you get into those saturated conditions of overwatering, then the oxygen environment that the roots need to be able to transfer and breathe can be smothered so they basically drowned in too much water.” 

“It’s better if you do longer stints than short ones, because little, short stints of watering creates shallow rooted plants. Shallow rooted plants then can't compete when it gets hot out. If you water deep, then those roots will go down and search for that water and you're going to have a much healthier root system.” 

“You're better off to do a one inch a week. And somebody says, 'how do I know I'm putting on an inch? I’ve got sprinklers out. How do I know?’ A tuna can is exactly an inch. So put your tuna can out there. And when that tuna can is full, you've got your inch and you're done for the week.” 

Soil type also plays a part in how to most effectively water your lawn.  

“Clay is fantastic if it's dry and you water, because it will hold the water in. The soil aggregates are very, very tiny and the pores in between them are so small that water won't run through. Whereas sand, the soil aggregates are really big and there's lots of space between them. So, water just runs right through and doesn't hold.” 

Roberts offers assistance to anyone with questions or concerns about their lawn.  

“If your lawn is looking kind of sad, send me a picture. I'm on Facebook or you can e-mail me. Sherryroberts65@yahoo.com”