What Your Warm-Season Grass Needs
We’ve arrived at the time of year when warm-season grasses can really shine. Two of these grasses are common in our region. Bermuda is known for its resilience, standing up to heavy traffic and dry conditions, but requires a lot of sunlight to remain healthy. By contrast, Zoysia can do well in areas that are either sunny or in partial shade. Depending on local conditions, you may find that it requires more frequent watering than other varieties. This post collects the most important ways that you can help your warm-season lawn reach its potential.
Fertilizing these strains during the summer is the subject of some debate among lawn care companies. We believe that it’s important to continue supplying nutrients through these months. Our fertilizer is a proprietary blend that we created specifically for use in the Metro Atlanta area, and it consistently produces great results.
The height that you can allow your grass to reach before mowing is expressed as a range. In general, these ranges are one to two inches for Zoysia and 0.75 to two inches for Bermuda. You should plan to mow Zoysia every seven to ten days and Bermuda every four to seven days. You can see from these ranges that you can exercise a lot of discretion without endangering the well-being of your lawn.
It’s important not to remove more than a third of the length of the blades in one mowing. If you weren’t able to mow while your grass was in the recommended range, set your mower height so it will cut less than a third of the height, wait a few days, and mow again at the recommended height setting. In general, it’s better to leave your grass at the upper end of its recommended range during the summer. This will allow each blade to use its resources as efficiently as possible while making it more difficult for weed seeds to reach the soil between blades.
Why is cutting height so important? A blade of grass has multiple “growing points” that generate extensions of the blade. The main one is located where the stem meets the soil, but another important one, related to the development of seed pods, is located further up the blade and therefore rises as the grass grows taller. If you cut grass too low, you’ll mow this upper growing point off. This is the technical definition of “scalping,” a word that many of us use in a more casual sense.
The rules stay the same during the summer: Grass needs one inch of water per week, and if rainfall doesn’t reach that level, we have to supply the difference with a hose or a sprinkler. What changes during the hot months is the importance of sticking to the general principles. The amount, the timing, and the frequency are important at all times of year, but in the summer they can mean the very visible difference between a thriving lawn and a listless one.
If you have questions about summer lawn care or any subject related to your grass, an experienced lawn service company like Arbor-Nomics can answer them. In addition to weed control, we provide lawn fertilization, outdoor pest control, and much, much more. Our Certified Landscape Specialists are ready to help with all of your lawn service needs.