Shade problems may require removal of some trees, pruning, and planting turfgrass species that are adapted to shaded conditions. Tree roots may need to be pruned to reduce competition with grasses for water, air, and nutrients.
Poor drainage can often be corrected by breaking-up compacted soil or through installation of drainage tile. Where surface drainage is insufficient, the site may have to be regraded so that water is removed from the site.
Most lawns should be mowed at two inches or above and on a regular basis as long as the grass is growing. How frequently you should mow depends on the growth rate of the grass. No more than one third of the total leaf surface should be removed at a given mowing. Thus, if the turf is cut at two inches, it should be mowed when it reaches a height no greater than three inches. Clippings do not need to be removed provided the lawn is mowed on a regular basis. All mowing equipment needs to be sharpened and adjusted periodically
Frequency of Cut
Frequency of mowing is also an important consideration in the maintenance program. Infrequent clipping allows the grass to grow to such a degree that any subsequent clipping removes too much leaf surface. At no time should clipping amounts in excess of ¼ to 1/3 of the total leaf surface be removed at a given mowing. Removal of larger amounts of leaf surface will result in a physiological shock to the plant, cause excessive graying or browning of the leaf tips, and greatly curtail the photosynthetic production of food, thus depleting root reserves. In addition, the accumulation of excessive clippings may smother the grass and provide excellent environmental conditions for disease organisms and insects. Excessive clippings should be removed promptly. Some grasses, especially Merion Kentucky bluegrass and red fescue, produce clippings that are highly resistant to decomposition. To prevent excessively fast build-up of thatch it is recommended that the clippings from normal frequency mowing be removed at least 50 per cent of the time. The frequency of clipping must be governed by the amount of growth. In turf, growth is related to weather conditions, season of the year, soil fertility, moisture conditions, and the natural growth rate of the grasses.
It is essential that all types of mowing equipment be kept sharp and in good operating condition. Dull, improperly adjusted equipment not only destroys the aesthetic value of the turf by discoloration and bruising of the leaf tips but also provides more ready access for disease organisms and insects through the damaged leaves.
Collection and disposal of grass clippings from lawns is laborious, time consuming, and unnecessary. The best way to deal with clippings produced by mowing is to recycle them back to your lawn. If performed correctly, recycled grass clippings should not detract from the appearance of your lawn or accumulate on the soil surface.
Recycling grass clippings also returns valuable nutrients back to your lawn.
For clippings to break down rapidly, the lawn should be mowed frequently enough so that large amounts of leaf residue do not remain on the surface of the turf.