Lawn Maintenance Tips
Lawn Care Tips (Revised June 2023)
We know that Utah drought conditions can make maintaining your yard difficult. But rest assured because grass can easily rebound from this current water and heat stress as long as we take some precautions.
We have teamed up with Master Gardener, Jenny Koller, to provide tips for keeping your lawn healthy yet low maintenance.
Let it grow
You don’t need to mow your lawn once a week. Let the grass grow between mowings, as this will help improve the heat and drought tolerance of the grasses. Be sure also to keep your mower height on its longest setting. The higher height keeps the rooting system shaded, which helps to prevent the water from evaporating too quickly.
Skip out on the fertilizer
Fertilizing focuses on grass growth, not on root development. We do not want to stimulate any more growth than is necessary. However, if you want to treat your lawn, we recommend fertilizing at most three times per year.
Instead, you can leave the clippings on the lawn because they break down and return nutrients to the soil. In the fall, after your last mower cut of the season, you can add a quick-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer that will restore the nutrients lost and help the roots.
Water deeply, not frequently
A little bit of water every day is not effective. Deeply watering twice a week is plenty, even in this heat. A fixed head should run for 25 minutes, while a rotating head should run for 45 minutes. Irrigating early in the morning, before 10 am, or after 6 pm is best to avoid evaporation.
Your lawn can go dormant so long as it is not completely dead, does not feel or look straw-like and is well-groomed with no weeds. Dormant grass is brown on top and green where the blade meets the soil. If you let your grass dormant, we recommend avoiding heavy traffic on your lawn.
All in all, understand that luscious, green grass is not natural or sustainable with Utah’s drought conditions. To learn more about xeriscaping, check out this xeriscaping guidelines article. There are many other ways to keep your lawn healthy and low maintenance, but we hope these tips help!