techniques for a greener lawn with less weeds.
Many municipalities are moving to ban the use
of lawn chemicals,
so if you're not already
restricted as to how you treat your private lawn for growth and weeds,
you likely will be soon. Although it may appear like it when you walk
the neighborhood, restrictions shouldn't mean you leave your weeds
growing 4 feet high and forget about lawn care altogether.
A weed free, environmentally friendly lawn
is possible with some simple lawn care tips without having to resort to lawn
herbicides (weed killers) or pesticides (pest killers). It's the way of the future, and for
many, the way of the present. Learning some simple tricks and techniques will
your lawn the greenest on the street. The
encroachment of weeds and seeds from the
neighbors full blown crop can be prevented to some extent by sustaining a
thick, healthy lawn.
A tall healthy lawn will build up an extremely competitive
canopy, which will shade the soil below and deter the germination of unwanted weeds. Correct mowing techniques can help bring about this thick canopy.
crucial aspects of mowing your lawn
are mowing height, mowing frequency, and lawnmower blade sharpness:
remove more than one third of the grass blade or the stress on the blade
may result in the lawn browning - depending on the weather conditions.
lowest height for any lawn to be cut is
considered two inches.
The favored mowing height for most grasses is 2.5
to 3 inches and the best "manageable height for
fighting weeds is 3 to 3.5 inches. Mowing at these heights allows for your
lawn to shade out freshly germinated weed seeds, and helps weeds like
dandelions and plantain to grow more upright resulting in removal of more of
the weed's leaf area when the lawn is mowed. Removing more of the weed's
leaf area will help stress the weed to the point of killing it.
Mowing with a mulching mower at longer lengths can impede a
nice even cut as the mower deck looses vacuum and some grass blades get
missed. This is not so much of a problem when using a bag on your mower as
vacuum is increased as compared to mulching the grass within the deck area. You'll have to experiment with your mower and your particular lawn.
Mowing at less than two inches
will lead to a decreased drought and heat tolerance and a greater frequency
of weeds as they are allowed to germinate in the short grass.
One last tip about height. Mow your last cut of the year (when the lawn
has become dormant) at 1.5 inches high to remove summer build up. It's also
considered preferable to "bag" the last mow of the year. The first cut in
spring can also be cut short but remember to raise the deck back up after
that so the top one inch of growth will be beautiful new grass.
Use A Mulching Mower.
You don't need to bag your grass clippings, as a matter of fact leaving
them on the lawn is good for it. Grass cuttings release their nutrients as
the microorganisms in the soil break down the clippings. To accelerate the
decomposition reaction, use a mulching mower with a good sharp blade.
Your lawn will look greener and develop better if you keep your lawnmower's
blade sharp. A sharp mower blade gives a cleaner cut that
heals faster without as much injury to the grass blade. A dull lawnmower
blade will cause a lawn to loose that lush green look as the tips of grass
turn brown from being torn rather than cleanly cut.
Try to mow your lawn when it's dry,
it will cut cleaner and the cuttings will be best mulched dispersed over the
lawn. Try mowing in different directions and patterns every week so that the
cuttings don't form clumps.
the lawn during drought when the lawn is
already under stress from lack of water.
Using A String Trimmer or Edger:
If you're using a string trimmer or an edger, it is best to use it before you
mow. Your mulching mower or bagger will clean up the clippings for you and
leave the lawn looking much neater, it saves time too!