Lawn Tips

March 24, 1991

The following are some lawn tips from the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Maryland. For more lawn details, informationand advice call the Home and Garden Information Center, 1-800-342-2507.

DON'T BAG IT, RECYCLE IT!

Grass clippings should always be recycled. Instead of taking themto the landfill, clippings should be returned to the lawn.

Contrary to popular opinion, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch build-up, but rather decompose rapidly. Clippings are high in nitrogen --about 4 to 5 percent -- and contain valuable potassium and phosphorus. Recycling these nutrients contributes not only to a healthier lawn, but also a cleaner environment.

THE GOLDEN ONE-THIRD RULE

When mowing, the one-third rule should be followed for a healthy and denselawn: Only one-third of the leaf surface should be removed at one time.

A 6-inch high grass should not be mowed to less than 4 inches.Ideally in the spring, the grass should be mowed frequently. Tall fescue turf grows quickly and may need to be mowed every five to six days.

GRASS IS GRASS IS GRASS

Perplexed by the diversity of turf types on the market? Not sure which one to choose? Join the crowd.

Each season, more turf types are touted as being the ultimate in turf selections. Unfortunately, the reality is that Maryland is in the transition zone for turf. The cool season grass species have difficulty surviving the summer and the warm season grasses are brown most of theyear.

Turf-type tall fescue are the survivors under Maryland conditions. They are grouped with the cool season grasses such as bluegrass and fine leaf fescue. For a fine-textured appearance they should be sown at a high rate of eight pounds per 1,000 square feet. Many suitable cultivars are recommended and are readily available including Rebel II, Falcon, Houndog, and Olympic.

As a group, the turf-type tall fescue is very disease-resistant when compared to Kentucky bluegrass and will require few if any fungicide treatments.

Quality, dense, tall fescue lawns can be maintained using less nitrogen fertilizer than would be required on bluegrass. To reduce fertilizer and pesticides, the turf-type tall fescue should be used.

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