This article was created with the help of Arbor-Nomics Turf, Inc.

A lawn needs about an inch of water administered weekly year-round to stay healthy, but accurately measuring just how much that is can be puzzling. Dick Bare, owner of Arbor-Nomics Turf, an Atlanta lawn maintenance company, suggests setting up an empty tuna can with your sprinkler systems. “Tuna fish cans are about an inch deep. Run the sprinkler system or set up a sprinkler and hose until you’ve filled up that tuna fish can. Another rule of thumb that I tell people is to run the sprinkler until they can plunge a screwdriver into the ground about four to six inches. Then quit watering and wait until you can’t get the screwdriver down into the ground anymore. Then water the lawn again.” And while it is debated whether it is better for the grass to be watered early in the morning or late in the evening, Bare believes it doesn’t make that much difference to the lawn. He does, however, advocate early morning watering for a different reason—conservation. “You’re not going to have the pressure on the county water system that you might have later in the day. If you water later in the day, you might have hardly any water pressure because everybody is in the shower and flushing the toilets.”

A little less mowing in the fall is also beneficial. “Usually you want to let a lawn get a little taller in the fall. The grass is storing up carbohydrates in the grass blades,” says Bare. “They’re storing up energy to get through the winter and come out again in the spring, and most of that carbohydrate is in the top part of the blade. When you whack the grass off super short, that really puts a strain on the plant.”

Aerating and overseeding are very important steps for the renewal of the lawn during its growing season. “About 30 percent of a fescue lawn dies off during the summer,” says Bare. “I don’t mean that one third of your lawn is going to turn brown and die; it’s just all interspersed throughout the yard. So that needs to be replenished.” Overseeding will allow new growth to take root to replace the dead blades so that the lawn returns to its lush form when the growing season arrives.

Bare suggests that most lawns can receive excellent care with five to seven treatments a year, but homeowners really have to keep an eye out so any problems can be caught early. “I tell people to go out in the yard with a cup of coffee in the morning, walk around, and look things over. Maybe you meet up with us when you start off with the service, and we go around the yard and point out what is normal and what’s not, and then you kind of try to maintain that from there on out. Because our guys come out every seven to eight weeks and they’re out there for maybe 15 to 20 minutes at the most, they’re just not going to see the changes you see when you live at the home.”

This article was crafted with the help of Arbor-Nomics Turf, Inc., an Atlanta expert in Lawn Maintenance. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.

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