How Much and How Often
The right amounts of water delivered at the right times will help you have a beautiful and happy lawn. Proper watering is another key to helping your grass develop deeper roots. Deeper roots mean greener, stronger, more drought tolerant grass.
Most lawns and grass types in the Virginia Beach area will do well with 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week. Over watering is the most common mistake and can contribute to fungal growth, unwanted weeds, thatch buildup, insect pests, spongy soil, and oxygen deprived root systems. Under watering will result in browning, dry blades. It’s easy enough to measure how much water your lawn is getting by strategically placing a rain gauge or empty tuna can on your lawn.
Water Deep and Less Often
How and when that water gets delivered is as important as how much. The goal is to keep the soil moist about six inches below the surface. Deep moisture = deep roots. Some experts suggest applying the desired amount of water only once a week. Others recommend breaking it down to 3 times a week. Soil, grass type, and weather conditions will have some impact on which method would be best for your lawn.
Short and frequent watering will result in very shallow root systems and a weak lawn susceptible to weeds, drought, and disease.
If you’re unsure, 20 to 30 minutes in each zone 3 times a week is a good start. Go DEEP!
Earlier is Better
Early morning watering will allow the water to soak in before the sun starts beating down. During the hottest times of the day, you will lose a good amount of moisture to evaporation. Sprinkling late in the day will leave the surface soggy for longer periods and encourage disease and fungus growth.
Note: These watering tips are for established lawns. More frequent watering will be needed when starting seeds or new sod has been installed.
Every Fall, They Fall.
Leaves. Everywhere. You could just leave the leaves where they lay to suffocate your grass, get tracked into your home and provide camouflage for doggie doodie, or like most, you’d rather make them go away. Arrow Lawn Care’s leaf removal services can handle this annual task for you using different strategies for different leaf removal jobs.
Remove or Recycle
Depending on the amount of leaves we’re dealing with, and customer preferences, we make them disappear by baggin ’em up, choppin ’em up, or a combination of the two. When we need to bag, leaves are blown and raked into big piles and stuffed into bags to be left at the curb for city pick-up. What’s left gets chopped into little bitty pieces that decompose quickly. Note: the City of Virginia Beach asks that you put no more than 25 bags out at a time and that each bag weighs 25 pounds or less.
If the piles aren’t too huge, we can mulch the leaves into oblivion. This is our preferred method as the leaf remnants will decompose and return nutrients back to the soil, naturally. It’s good for the soil and the environment.
Mini Leaf Clean-Up
This is a weekly removal or mulching of leaves to prevent a huge buildup. For our regularly scheduled customers with little to moderate amounts of leaf accumulation, we provide what we might call “mini leaf clean-ups”, up to 3 bags, for the regular cost of mowing ($5 bagging charge may apply).
Major Leaf Removal
When we need to tackle yards with several mature leaf shedders and the mini clean-up just isn’t enough, we dedicate a visit for major removal efforts. As with most of our other non-mowing services, fees for leaf removal are based on our current labor rates. Contact Us for details.
Incremental Leaf Clean-Up
When the leaves are still falling and we are called for a clean-up, we do our best to make the leaves disappear from the lawn and blow out/rake flowerbeds, under shrubs, and other areas where leaves can accumulate. Getting these areas completely clear of leaves can be time consuming (costly), so we recommend incremental leaf clean-ups until the trees are naked. After the last of the leaves drop, we can get all the nooks and crannies cleaned out for you.
Mow High, Mow Often
Lawn care experts agree that different types of grasses have optimal mowing heights to help keep them happy and healthy.
Some folks figure that the shorter they mow their grass, the longer it will be before they need to do it again. That may be true, but when it’s cut too low, the grass will be less healthy and it will be easier for weeds to thrive.
Mowing is actually hard on grass. Every time you do it, you’re chopping back the plant’s photosynthesis laboratory, its leaves. Grass blades, like all leaves, convert sunshine into sugars which then get converted into starches and stored in the roots. Cut the too grass short, and you drastically reduce its ability to perform photosynthesis. This will weaken the grass, roots and all, making your lawn more vulnerable to weeds, pests, and diseases.
Taller grass is healthier in itself, and it gives weeds less opportunity to take root. Many of the weeds in our lawns grow low and have shallow roots. Short grass allows these weeds plenty of space to soak up sun and settle in. They’ll grow like – well – weeds. Let the grass long and strong and it will curb weeds, simply by shading them out on the topside and choking them out underneath.
Arrow Lawn Care recommends a minimum mowing height of 3″ for most of the lawns we maintain. Lawns with fescue blends are often cut at 3.5″ to 4″. We mow a little lower for the warm season varieties such as bermuda, zoysia, and St. Augustine – 2″ to 2.5″.
Remember to keep your blades sharp and cut pretty!
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Back in the olden days we just shot grass of out the right side of our mower and that was that. If it left an unsightly mess, we raked it up and put it in bags. If not, all was well. Nowadays, many mowers don’t even come with discharge chutes so we’re faced with the big decision between bagging or mulching. Which one is best? I vote for recycling.
“Recycling” your grass clippings, or grasscycling, helps feed the lawn by returning the organic matter and nutrients back to the soil. Grasscycling can also reduce the need for watering, reduce or eliminate the need for fertilizing, and help prevent common turf diseases.
Some people just don’t want the clippings left on the lawn. My mom insisted on bagging because she didn’t want clippings getting tracked into the house. So, of course, I bagged mom’s yard every time… because she said so!
That being said, we mulch most of the yards we service and bag when we need to or when it’s requested. A good mulching mower with sharp blades will chop those clippings small enough that they just sift down through the lawn, decompose quickly and feed the lawn. Mowing when the grass is dry also helps ensure that the clippings will scatter evenly rather than clumping.
Whether you bag or mulch… just Cut Pretty!