There’s so much to do in Charlotte that it’s easy to put off maintenance on that patch of greenery on your property — your lawn. However, it’s important to take a moment away from enjoying the good life to keep it in tip-top shape. The following is a short guide to lawn mowing in Charlotte.
Match Mowing to Peak Growing
Tall fescue is a dominant type of grass in the Piedmont — the wide plateau of rolling hills in which Charlotte lies. Like all cool-season grasses that are grown in Charlotte, it grows most actively in spring and fall and can go dormant and brown in the summer. Some warm-season grasses are also grown in Charlotte, and they have their peak growing season in the summer.
So depending on your grass type, you either need to back off your mowing schedule (for cool-season grasses) or step it up (for warm-season grasses) during the hottest months.
Regardless of when you mow, to help support the long-term health of your turf, set your mower blades at the highest recommended setting for your turn type. In the case of tall fescue, that’s 2½ to 3½ inches. Longer blades of grass can make the most of the sunlight to build deep roots, which will ensure a healthier, more drought-resistant lawn.
Never cut more than one-third off the length of your grass at one time. If you’ve let things go a little wild, increase the frequency of your mows to gradually cut it down to the size you desire, rather than cutting off all the length at once. Additionally, you should keep your mower blades sharp so that they are cutting the grass instead of tearing it.
Let Clippings Be
Rather than bagging up grass clippings, allow the mower to spread them out across your yard. They will slowly release nutrients back into the soil, and can reduce your need for fertilization. Just make sure you only mow when the lawn is dry to prevent clumping. Clumps of grass can smother grass and leave yellow spots.
Charlotte lawns thrive best when given an inch of water per week. Programming your irrigation to deposit an inch per week is ideal, preferably just before dawn. This reduces evaporation, allows the maximum moisture penetration into the soil and reduces the vulnerability to fungus and disease that can come when grass is left wet overnight. A rain sensor can help you make sure that you don’t waste water irrigating after a heavy rainfall, and can also help keep you from overwatering. One deep watering is far superior to several shallow waterings. Watering deeply encourages the deep growth of roots, which ensures a healthier lawn overall.
If your lawn is tall fescue, don’t let it dry out and die during its summer dormancy. Keep up your watering schedule especially if the summer has an extended hot and dry period.
If you are manually watering with a sprinkler, wait until your lawn is thirst to water. You can tell by observing the blades of grass– if they are folding or curling slightly, they are dehydrated. Thirsty grass also takes on a slightly bluish cast and footprints will remain visible for a minute or so. Watering at this point is perfect for preventing damage and maintaining perfect lawn health.
Wait to Feed
Applying fertilizer in the heat of the season can potentially burn the turf. Save fertilizer application for spring and fall, and stop applying fertilizer at least a month in advance of hot weather.
Do you have questions about lawn care in Charlotte? Be sure to check out our Charlotte, N.C., lawn care page.