that provides an entrance point for certain turfgrass diseases. It will also leave the newly mown lawn with a dull, brown appearance.
If you fertilized your lawn last fall according to University of Maryland recommendations, you do not need to add any fertilizer in May. The buzz of the lawn mower is now in the air. The two most important practices you can do to maintain a healthy turf are to have a sharp mower blade and mow at the correct height. Sharp mower blades are critical to prevent disease issues in the lawn. A dull blade will rip rather than cleanly cut the grass blade. This will result in a ragged edge
For bluegrass and tall fescue turfs, you need to mow the grass at least 3 inches high. If you â€œscalpâ€? the grass, you are removing too much of the leaf blade at one time, stressing the plant. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at each mowing. Also, turf research has shown over and over that a short cut cool-season turf is more prone to dandelion, crabgrass and other weed problems. Mow on a regular basis. If you need to use a hay rake to remove all the grass clippings, you have waited too long between mowings. Happy Gardening! Marc Teffeau retired as Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs at the American Nursery and Landscape Association in Washington, D.C. He now lives in Georgia with his wife, Linda.
Tidewater Times May 2018