Want to have the best lawn on your block? Consumer Reports has tips on how to keep your grass looking its best without wasting a lot of water.
First, stop cutting your grass so short. Raise the height on your mower deck to at least three inches. Higher grass has longer roots, and those roots gain more moisture down in the soil. And higher grass actually shades the area around the ground and reduces evaporation.
Next, instead of bagging your clippings, set your mower to mulch. Those clippings go back in-between the grass blades, decompose, and add nutrients to the soil.
And when you’re done mulching, be sure to clear your mower’s deck of any leftover grass. Buildup can get in the way and reduce airflow, which is essential for cutting higher grass.
Another must-do for great grass is to sharpen your mower blade at the start of the season and twice during the season. A sharp blade is most important because it makes a very clean cut on the grass, while a dull blade whacks the grass and stresses it out, turning it brown.
Finally, don’t overdo it when it comes to watering. An established lawn needs only about an inch of water, including rainfall, per week.
Consumer Reports says you can cut back on fertilizing, too. You really need to fertilize at most twice a year, most important in the fall. And if you live in an area where you get snow, instead of fertilizing in the spring, as soon as the snow melts, put down pelletized lime. It helps neutralize the acid in the snow and make the next application of fertilizer work more efficiently.