rain

You Are Here: Home / Archives / Tag / rain

With All This Rain, How Should I Be Mowing My Wet Lawn?

Categories: Tags:

lawn mowing

Everyone has heard the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”  This may be because spring is often the time of year when most of the country receives plenty of rain. Mowing can be a real challenge when it seems like it rains every weekend.

For those of you who use a maintenance service, your normal mowing day is often pushed back due to rain delays.  Since these companies are in the business to mow lawns, sometimes they have to “push it” to make sure that each client is serviced in a timely schedule. Still, they have to take precautions to avoid damaging lawns. For those of us who still mow our own lawns, the weekend is usually the only time we have sunlight and the spare time to mow. Here are some best practices for mowing wet grass.

Take Precaution

If you have to mow your lawn when it is wet follow these 2 precautionary steps.

  1. Make sure you have a sharp blade on your mower, it is always a good idea, but even more so when the grass is wet.
  2. Be sure to clean the underside of the deck as the grass will stick to the underside of the deck. Use extra caution when performing this task and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for accessing the underside of the deck.  If nothing else, be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire.

Potential Risks

If possible, wait for the grass to dry off before mowing. Mowing when the turf and soil are wet can lead to other problems:

  • If you are using a mulching mower or a bagger attachment, they will often get clogged with wet grass and not function properly.
  • Wet soil will compact easier than dry soil, which can lead to poor rooting of the turf.
  • If you use a riding mower, you could tear out sections of grass when:
    • making turns
    • mowing on sloped areas
    • Starting a new pass from a dead stop.

Length Matters

Ideally, you should set your mower so that you do not remove more than one-third of the leaf blade at any time.  However, that is not always possible in the spring when it seems to rain all of the time.

Lawn Mowing

As long as you are mowing high and not leaving behind large clipping clumps it won’t be detrimental, if you do cut more than one-third of the leaf blade off. When this happens on my own lawn, I will set the mower at the highest setting and mow in one direction and then I lower it one notch and mow in a perpendicular direction.

Summer will arrive soon enough and mowing will turn into a normal weekly event. There may even come a time later in the summer when it becomes dry and you may not even need to mow your lawn. Just remember to mow your lawn high and it is always a good idea to leave the clippings behind to recycle the nutrients back into your lawn.

How to water plants in the Summer

Categories: Tags:

To prevent your plants hanging their heads in summer, they need plenty of water. But how much, how often, water from above or below? Here you find some smart and helpful facts for watering your plants.

Rule no. 1: Keep evenly moist

Most plants depend on even moisture. However, slight drying out before watering promotes root growth of the plants.

Rule no. 2: Water more seldom but then thoroughly

In the flower bed, one to two watering sessions per week are usually sufficient: better to water more seldom but with plenty of water rather than a little water often.

Rule no. 3: Water late in the evening or early in the morning

When you water cooled soil in the evening or night then less water evaporates than as on hot soil during the day. And the plants can sufficiently supply themselves with water before the next day’s heat.

Rule no. 4: Keep leaves dry

Wet leaves become diseased leaves. Kept wet overnight, leaf-mould diseases may result. Leaves that are made wet in the sun develop slight burn marks (burning glass effect of the water droplets).

Requirement-suited watering means that the water must sufficiently reach the roots. Too-low water quantities often only cover the upper soil centimetres – or don’t even reach them at all, e.g. when there is a mulch covering of the soil and too little irrigation. Requirement-suited watering also means that crop plants are particularly dependent upon evenly moist soil in the time until their crops are ripe for harvesting (examples: the forming of roots and corms [carrots, potatoes], leaves [basil, field salad], heads [cauliflower, lettuce], husks [beans] or fruit [tomatoes, fruit]).

Rule no. 5: Give the right water quantity

Rule no. 6: Give larger water quantities in parts

Water needs a moment to seep into the soil. Before precious water in the bed flows away unused, it’s better to water repeatedly in parts.

Rule no. 7: Water with a target but distribute

Always watering at only one root point leads to one-sided root growth and thereby to poorer nutrient absorption in the soil. Therefore, always water around the plant and distribute in the entire irrigation area.

Rule no. 8: Irrigate in a way that saves water

Water as much as necessary and as little as possible. This is simplified with an automatic irrigation system with moisture sensor – in the bed, on the balcony and on the lawn.

Rule no. 9: Avoid waterlogging

Waterlogging suppresses the breathing air of the roots out of the soil – the root cells drown without oxygen.

Rule no. 10: Use quality, clay-rich soil

Plant soil rich in clay minerals has better expanding properties and can therefore hold soil in the water better and in a more even way. In wet summers and in winter, ensure water drainage to prevent waterlogging.

What to do during a drought

Categories: Tags:

WHAT TO DO DURING A DROUGHT

WhattoDoDuringDrought

  • Spray Trees & Shrubs With An Anti-Transpirant

If pruning, only remove dead material from trees and shrubs, anything more will encourage new growth.  This takes energy that a drought stressed plant cannot afford.  Instead, spray leaves with an anti-transpirant or anti-dessicant to help leaves retain what moisture they have.

  • Water Early

Morning temperatures are cooler and the sun is not as intense as later in the day so there is less moisture loss due to evaporation.

Also, water sitting on foliage will have a chance to dry during the day minimizing the chance of fungal infection, especially during humid weather.

  • Water Slowly & Deeply

Watering slowly will allow the moisture to penetrate more deeply into the root zone rather than running off the soil surface.  Create depressions or water traps around larger plants to hold the water where you want it until it can saturate the soil.  Remember to water trees at the drip line, not at the trunk base, as this is where the roots are most active.  Drip irrigation bags are excellent for watering newly planted trees.

  • Water the Soil, Not the Leaves

Plants take up water through their roots. Water landing on the foliage will be lost due to evaporation.  The more water you direct to the soil, the less you will waste. The key is infrequent, but heavy watering rather than light, frequent waterings.  This encourages deep root growth, which increases drought tolerance.

  • Conserve Precious Water

Place a rain barrel under downspouts to collect rainwater.  Wash the car on the lawn rather than on the driveway.  Reuse  ‘gray water’, such as bathtub or dishwater and rinse cycle water from your laundry, to water your garden. Replace leaky hoses and sprinklers and use washers to correct leaks at fittings.