Lawn Maintenance

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St. Augustine Lawns

To have a healthy lawn and to keep it in good shape all year round having proper lawn maintenance done is needed. To maintain St. Augustine lawns with a dense green look proper, watering, and mowing, are always essential factors to be considered. If St. Augustine grass is not maintained properly it will experience problems. Listed are lawn care tips on watering and mowing which will be helpful, and can save money in the long run.

Watering St. Augustine Lawns

Proper watering practices help in proper lawn maintenance by having less thatch buildup and requiring less mowing. Watering correctly will help develop a deep root system, and make the turf less susceptible to damage from insects and stress. Amount of watering from irrigation is determined by how much rainfall occurs.

St. Augustine lawns need to receive an inch of water in the soil a week. During hot weather, watering two times a week should be sufficient. During winter months, once a week will supply enough water. During drought periods, set each zone at 45 minutes to ensure proper amount. The best time to water is in the early morning hours.

It is important to check coverage on a regular basis. Heads may become clogged, damaged, off center, and leaks in the line effect water pressure. If a lawn is not getting the right coverage and amount, dry spots can develop. During dry periods drought stress will begin to cause problems, from heads being out of adjustment.

Although watering is important for good lawn maintenance many homeowners have a tendency to over-water. This is common practice because of the thought, “give it more water”, as the solution to lawn problems. Too much water can be damaging to St. Augustine lawns and is often the cause of the problem. During the rainy season and lawn is getting good amounts of rainfall, the sprinkler system should be turned off. Irrigation should be a supplemental source of watering St. Augustine grass, to avoid wasting it and causing damage to the turf.

Over-watering encourages nutrient leaching, increases insect problems, causes shallow rooting, and leads to disease problems like fungus. Shallow root systems cause more stress on lawns during drought because the grass cannot get water at lower soil depths. Too much water causes excessive buildup of thatch in the lawn. Also, weeds love water and too much helps them thrive and get out of control. Too much water will make it harder for chemicals to kill weeds, the root system becomes saturated and as the weed absorbs the chemical it becomes diluted.

Proper watering is an important factor that needs to be considered in year round lawn maintenance. Not only does it conserve water, it will keep a St. Augustine lawn remaining healthy.

Proper Mowing Lawn Maintenance 

Mowing correctly is another important factor, for keeping a healthy lawn, and doing good lawn maintenance. Frequency of mowing is determined by the growth rate of St. Augustine turf grass. During the summer lawns need weekly mowing, while during the winter months it is only needed to be done every two weeks. Each time a lawn is mowed removing only about one-third of the leaf blade is required. St. Augustine grass should be mowed to a height of 2 1/2 – 3 inches only.

Mowing at lower heights will reduce drought tolerance and increases susceptibility to pest problems. Continuous low mowing can lead to weed problems. Proper mowing height helps St. Augustine grass to develop a deeper root system. Scalping from mowers causes dead spots inducing insects. Always mow with a sharp well adjusted blade to give a clean cut. Dull blades cause a ragged cut on the leaf giving the lawn a brownish look. Mowing correctly keeps a lawn looking good all the time.

Lawn maintenance done correctly helps achieve a successful growing lawn. Since a lawn is a big part of a landscape, keeping it in good shape adds to the overall appearance. Maintaining a lawn properly is done by correct, watering and mowing, which sometimes is taken for granted.

Author, Kurt Kmetz

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