The stage has been set for a fantastic year of growing grass in Kansas City. The mildwinter temperatures have been ideal for the fescue and bluegrass lawns in Kansas City. Soil temperatures have stayed mild and precipitation has been adequate to allow the grass to grow roots through the winter. With the right care this spring and summer, your lawn could look its best ever. Through my experience, I see certain mistakes repeated each year and regretted by Kansas City gardeners.
Managing the fertility of your lawn can be deceptively complex.
Although slick advertising often tries to convince us that any lawn can be fertilized with the same 4-step program – this is not true. I often am called by customers who have either been buying these programs off the shelves for years or who have hired companies selling a similar canned program to all of their customers. The results are usually less than impressive and result in the disappointing cycle of springtime flush in growth and then diminishing growth resulting in reseeding every fall. This cycle continues year after year. To break this cycle, apply the right nutrients at the right times. This will vary depending the type of grass you have, the soil conditions and available nutrients shown in a soil test and the micro-climates of your yard. Managing the nutrients in your yard can often be the most difficult thing homeowners do in order to grow grass and the part best left to professionals.
MOWING KANSAS CITY LAWNS
What would happen to the trees, shrubs and flowers in your landscape if you took a large metal blade and flung it around every week cutting them down to nubs? Would you expect them to flourish? NO, probably not, But we do expect our lawns to flourish under these conditions. And if they are mowed correctly, they will. However, the cycle I so often see is homeowners cutting their lawns too short and infrequently during the spring flush of growth. This severely weakens the turf and makes it unable to survive the impending stress of the summer. A healthy lawn MUST be mowed frequently to avoid removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade in any one mowing. Following this rule and mowing at the maximum height for your grass species is the most important thing you can do in helping your lawn look its best.
The biggest mistake I see in watering is a result of caring too much. Kansas City’s most proud gardeners, with their spirits blinded by the glory of our lush spring, begin watering their lawns religiously. Convincing themselves that if they can get their lawns green enough now – they will stay green through the summer. Unfortunately, every ounce of excess water they throw on the grass in the early spring is deadly. If the soil in the lawn is not allowed to dry between watering, the roots of the plant grow very shallow, encouraged by the ample water and warmth at the surface. However, Kansas City’s glorious spring is only the opening act to our reliable, but dastardly summers. Shallow roots are a death sentence to your lawn. By watering only when the top 6” of soil have dried out, you will be dispensing some tough love that will reward you and your lawn with being able to survive the summer.
|Published on March 20th, 2008||Posted by Jeff Hamons|