G.R. Robinson Seed Truth 'n Turf Glennon Kraemer of G.R. Robinson Seed & Service Co. know
No, I’m not talking about which swimming suit to wear to the beach, but more like: weeds, insect and fungus activity. The most misunderstood concept in lawn care is thinking that chemicals are the answer to these common lawn problems. The fact is, it is our cultural practices that can control most of these problems. Mowing height (3.5 inches on cool season lawns minimum), proper watering, correct fertility and soil nutrients are the keys. When you are doing or have done these 4 cultural practices correctly, you will use very little herbicides, insecticides or fungicides. Here is how it is supposed to work:
Mowing properly: Mowing cool season lawns under 3.5 inches is almost a guarantee that weeds, fungus and insects will have a very negative effect on your lawn. There is a direct correlation to mowing height and depth of roots (higher the mowing the deeper the roots). There is a further correlation to root depth and drought, insect and disease resistance (the deeper the roots the hardier the plants that withstand drought, insect and disease pressures). Mowing short will only bring unwanted weeds and unhealthy plants. I can’t stress enough how important mowing height on cool season lawns is. If you mow short…expect problems!
Watering cool season lawns: Infrequent, deep watering is best all summer. I like to suggest you water for 20-45 minutes two days in a row and then take two days off and only repeat as needed. That length of time is only a suggestion and should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Sprinkler systems water pressure, age of heads, slope of lawns etc. all play a part in how much one can water without causing puddles or losing water to the gutter. Trial and error are in order to find the right mix of time and days needed to keep the lawn healthy. I water to prevent death, not dormancy. My cool season lawn looks its worse in July and August (nothing “cool” about the weather in the summer), but it bounces right back in September once the “cool weather” returns…hence the name…”cool season grass”. Makes sense doesn’t it?
Summer fertilization plan: use as many 100% organic products as you can! These products (regardless of their source, human, chicken or plant products) are usually 100% Slow Release. That makes “burning” the lawn darn near impossible. When you use organic based fertilizers you are helping the soil. When you help the soil, you but can’t help but to have a healthier lawn. When the base is right…it’s going to be right (unless you scalp it!). Spread rate should be around 10# per 1000 ft. sq. and if you have a dog…it will look at you funny after you apply. It’s the SAFEST application you’ll make all year! Do it 6 weeks apart asap and you’ll be very happy with the results!
Soil nutrients role: Testing your soil is the one of the easiest and cheapest ways to insure that your fertilizers are working properly! Test cost around $30.00 and can be brought to us here or mailed from your home? We all spend hundreds and maybe thousands on our lawns and landscapes, but we won’t spend $30.00 on a soil test? Doesn’t make sense to me. New homes, problem lawns or just plain old reassurance…do a soil test today and know what you are doing is working for you!
I want to wish you all a safe summer. We are going to a wedding in Peoria in August and Atlanta in October, so that’s our plans this year. My weight loss is currently at 42 pounds and counting. I want to lose 12-15 more by August AND keep it off. Give it try folks…it feels really good! God bless you and your families and remember folks…it’s just grass.