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Quality Lawn Maintenance = Quality Roots

If you remember the old SNL skits with Hans and Franz, you will know that being a weak and flabby girly man is despicable. Just as you would not want skinny little wimpy man arms, you do not want thin-lifeless blades of grass. The key to strong-thick blades of grass is pumping up the roots under them.

As explained in last weeks article, The Water Ban Is Good For Your Lawn , watering should be executed for long periods of time less frequently. The idea is to get the water to penetrate deep into the soil, forcing the roots to stretch out to grab it, rather than lapping up the surface water. Your lawn will reach deep into your soil profile for water when it is there. If you allow ample time in between watering cycles, your lawn becomes eager to look for water at its next opportunity. Which is much better than having roots that hang out on the surface, in between frequent watering cycles.

Yet, there are a couple more crucial steps to getting those strong thick blades. A homeowner needs to have well aerated soil with a capacity to hold and retain larger amounts of water. Loosening up your soil through core aeration in the spring and fall will help with that substantially. Not only will the added pore space hold more water, but the looser soil is the easier for roots to navigate.

Another factor in developing sturdy roots is the length a lawn is mowed. Keeping a lawn short may provide a tidy appearance, however; it gives roots insufficient opportunity to grow. Plants only have so much energy to grow based on the amount of water, sunlight and nutrients that are available. If a homeowner is always cutting his or her grass less than 2-inches, it will use most of the plant available energy to get back to its terminal height (the length it wants to be) which is greater than 3-inches. Maintaining Kentucky bluegrass at a height of 2-and-a-half inches is a happy compromise for both the homeowner and plant. The blades of grass will relax at 2-and-a-half inches, share plant available energy, and allow the roots to grow deep into the ground.

In summary, the key to a healthy lawn is having durable roots underneath it. You can build up the root mass of your lawn by doing these four things:
1) Water twice as long and half as often.
2) Cut your lawn at an appropriate height
3) Follow an appropriate nutrient / fertilization plan
4) Aerate your soil in the spring and fall


Article and Illustrations provided by Scott Flanagan


Make sure your yard is getting the treatment it deserves by giving local Orland Park small business Scott Flanagan Landscape a call at 708-460-5884.


Scott Flanagan Landscape specializes in landscape design, landscape installation, and landscape maintenance. Scott Flanagan personally creates every landscape design installed by the workers of scott flanagan landscape. He has a degree in landscape design from the University of Illinois, and continues to pursue education through seminars, workshops and garden tours around the world. The creativity and quality of the work executed by scott flanagan landscape is unmatched.
Scott Flanagan Landscape    708.460.5884    sfl@scottflanaganlandscape.com