Timely Lawn Tips

— Written By John Parsons and last updated by

The sun is shining brighter, days are getting longer, and the temperature is rising. Sounds like signs of summer. Summer is known for bringing more maintenance to the weekend garden warrior. In order to combat maintenance most effectively, the gardener should work with, not against the plant.

Some of the ways we as gardeners and concerned homeowners can work with our plants are watering in the morning, cutting our grass higher, and remaining calm.

If we water our plants and turf early in the morning, the water will have time to soak into the ground and reach the roots. Whereas, the closer a gardener waters to lunch time, the more likely the water will evaporate before reaching the roots. Above all, you never want to water at night. While the water will not evaporate, the water will stand on the ground and the roots longer and create a nice environment for diseases like root rot and fungi. The same principle applies to your turf. If water stands too long in your grass, their roots will rot and you will begin to see dead spots on your lawn.

Secondly, cutting your grass higher will keep your water bill lower and your wallet happy. Keeping your grass cut 4–5 inches will keep the roots of the grass from being exposed to direct sunlight and prevent the water from evaporating.

Lastly, remain calm. Do not get excited when you see a spot on your landscape plants that wasn’t there before. That spot could be telling you, water sat on the leaves too long and discolored the leaves. In time, the leaves will fall off and the plant will grow new leaves. Also, keep in mind what your damage threshold is as a weekend garden warrior. A threshold is an imaginary number that a gardener keeps in mind before taking action. For example, if a gardener has a threshold of 25% then they won’t apply any chemicals until their landscape or crop has 25% damage. The threshold is a good way to give the gardener a window of time between discovery of the pest or disease and eradication. If you don’t set a threshold, a gardener could easily get excited and start applying chemicals to their garden without knowing the true cause of the problem. Follow these timely tips to keep your lawn healthy and your wallet happy this summer. For additional information, contact John Parsons, Pasquotank County Horticulture Agent, 338-3954.