Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Blog Archives

316 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Over the Fence

Where gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.

Rain and Cool Weather Really Makes the Lawn Grow

Posted by Richard Hentschel -

Down the Garden Path

Richard Hentschel, Extension Educator

With all the cooler temperatures and frequent rains over the last week, the lawn is really growing rapidly right now. Kentucky bluegrass lawns really prefer this kind of weather. This is good for the lawn as it can quickly fill in the bare spots and begin to thicken up from last season's drought. It is always easier to say than to do at times, yet mowing the lawn more frequently to keep up with the quickly growing grass is the best way to manage the lawn right now.

Lawns are growing so fast that they need to be mowed every third or fourth day. There are several things we can do to catch up and then stay on top of the mowing. If the lawn is already too tall, consider raising the mower deck up at least one notch or maybe even two so that when you do mow you are not removing more than one third of the grass blade. This will allow the lawn to maintain its competitiveness against any weeds that are in the lawn. This also allows the mower to do a better job of cutting the grass. When more than one third of the grass blade is removed, it stresses the grass plant and temporarily stops growing. This sounds like a good idea, but the weeds will continue to grow.

During this time of rapid grass growth, you may also need to collect the lawn clippings so they will not smother the grass below even if we are mowing frequently. Once the grass slows down, leaving the clippings is not going to be a problem.

While you are mowing the lawn often, be sure to check for caked on grass clippings on the underneath side of the mower deck. The grass blades are really full of moisture now and that can cause a quick buildup under the deck. Mowers work much more efficiently when the deck is free of buildup. This is especially true of a mulching mower. Mulching mowers work the best when we are mowing often and the grass is dry and the mower blades are sharp. They are designed to cut and recut the grass blades until they are so small they sift right into the lawn. If the grass to too long, the mower cannot effectively cut the grass into smaller pieces and you will find clumps and even uncut lawn.

If the lawn has not been fertilized yet this year, consider waiting now until the lawn slows down before you apply a feeding. Fertilizing right now will generate even more growth.

Besides the challenge of finding the extra time to mow the lawn, the easier changes are to raise the mower deck, keep the deck clear of caking grass and use a sharp mower blade.

 

 



Please share this article with your friends!
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter