To ensure your Tennessee turf looks terrific, you’ve got to give your lawn lots of TLC. For residents of the Nashville, TN, area, here are five tips for keeping your lawn looking lush.
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1. Watch the Amount of Water.
Typically, a lawn requires 1 to 1½ inches (630 to 945 gallons per 1,000 square feet) of water each week, according to the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service. The Lawn Institute says the average U.S. lawn is about 10,000 square feet.
“Water deeply and infrequently, thoroughly moistening the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Do not irrigate again until the first symptoms of drought stress appear,” the extension service advises.
2. Set a Watering Schedule.
Ideally, you should water your lawn between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., according to the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture. If that’s not possible, try 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or noon to 3 p.m., the institute recommends.
Irrigating your lawn during those periods reduces loss of water to daytime evaporation, and helps prevents moisture from lingering on your grass and causing lawn diseases, the institute says.
3. Look for Signs of Stress.
One clue that your lawn needs its thirst quenched is something called “footprinting.” Lawns that are dehydrated don’t bounce back quickly when someone walks on them.
“If footprints remain or disappear slowly, it may be time to irrigate,” the extension service says.
4. Measure When You Mow.
Depending on the type of grass, the height of your lawn should be anywhere from half an inch to 3 inches once it’s been mowed, the extension service says.
Here are the recommended inch counts:
- Bermudagrass — ¾ to 1½
- Centipede — 1 to 2
- Zoysia — ½ to 1
- Fine fescue — 1½ to 2½
- Kentucky bluegrass — 1½ to 2½
- Perennial ryegrass — 1½ to 2½
- Tall fescue — 2 to 3
“The recommended frequency of mowing is determined by the vertical growth rate of lawngrasses and not by a set date,” the extension service says.
According to the extension service, cutting your grass below the recommended height often leads to weak and weedy turf along with shallow roots. If you let the grass grow above the suggested height, your lawn can wind up “puffy, soft and disease-prone,” the extension service says.
5. Try a New Pattern.
The extension service suggests alternating the direction of mowing to encourage grass to grow upright and to distribute mowing stress felt by the grass and soil. Visit our lawn mowing page to learn more about general best mowing practices.