Your lawn might be green, but is it as thick and luscious as the grass growing on a golf course? Golf course grass is immaculately maintained by professionals — but that doesn’t mean you can’t get that bright, healthy green in your own lawn. Here are a few lawn care secrets from golf course professionals to help you get the gorgeous green grass of your dreams.
Lawn Mower Blades
The first trick from golf course pros is keeping your mower blades as sharp as possible. Dull blades don’t slice through grass; they rip and pull, creating jagged edges along the top of your lawn. These rough edges are unattractive, and they fail to create the neat, manicured look of a golf course. However, perhaps more importantly, ripped edges are more difficult for grass to heal, meaning they greatly increase the risk of your lawn developing a disease, going into shock and dying.
You can get your mower’s blades sharpened at a local lawn mower repair shop — but if you’re like me, you do battle with your lawn mower every time you drag it out of the shed to mow the lawn. Most lawn mowers aren’t the most pleasant tools to use; they require constant tinkering with the engine, the blades, the bag or bin and more — which is why I outsourced lawn mowing to lawn care services near me years ago. Professionals always have the sharpest blades at the right height, so my lawn has a better shot of looking golf course–green.
How frequently you mow your lawn depends on factors like the season and the growth rate of your grass. You’ll never be able to mow your lawn like golf courses do; they have lawn maintenance teams caring for their grass every day and mowing several times per week. During the seasons of high growth for your lawn, which might be spring and fall or summer depending on your grass type, you should probably be mowing at least once per week. Then, in periods of less fervent growth, you can decrease your mowing to every two weeks or so. Your goal with mowing should be to bring your grass to the right height, which brings us to.
The right mowing height is crucial for keeping a lawn thick and healthy. Warm-season grasses, like St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass and Bermudagrass should be kept around 1 inch tall, but cool-season grasses, such as fescue and ryegrass, does better around 3 inches in height. However, if your grass is much taller than it should be, you shouldn’t lop it all off at once; you should incrementally lower your lawn’s height, removing no more than one-third of the height at once.
You need to be sure you are mowing your grass the right height based on its type. Different parts of a golf course contain different varieties of turfgrass — the putting green is shortly cropped warm-season grass while the fairway is a cool-season grass that is permitted to grow longer. If you aren’t certain what grass you have in your lawn, call an expert for advice.
Many lawn mowers have attachments meant to catch and bag the lawn clippings, so your lawn looks clean and tidy after mowing. Unfortunately, removing lawn clippings is actually detrimental to your lawn; the dead tops of your grass contain nutrients that, when broken down properly in the soil, can help your lawn grow more healthily. Golf course lawn clippings are short because they mow so frequently, which means the clippings can reintegrate into the soil quickly to provide nutrients without becoming unsightly.
The way you water your lawn should encourage the grass’s roots to grow deep, which will keep it healthier when it goes dormant and decrease the success of weeds and other pests. To achieve deep root growth, you should water deeply, which is to day you should give your lawn about 1.5 inches of water at a time. Then, you should water relatively infrequently, perhaps twice a week or less. You can tell that your lawn needs water if:
• Footprints across the lawn stay matted down
• The soil resists when you push a screwdriver in
• Your grass is slightly blue-tinged
Additionally, you should schedule your waterings for the early morning; this prevents excess water from drowning your lawn for hours, and it also prevents too much water from being evaporated in the heat of the day.
Much of the lawn care that goes into golf courses centers around the every-day duties that most homeowners hate. If you are intimidated by the precision of care you need to get a golf course–green lawn, you might want to just hire some professionals to do it for you.