the orange gardener

1–2 minute read


No fertilization needed for any lawn grasses.



Mow cool-season lawns (fescue, bluegrass) to 3–3.5″
  • These are clumping grasses and if a clump dies, it is not replaced. Mowing these grasses too short can injure the growing point in the crown.
  • Close mowing makes the blades too short to photosynthesize effectively, increasing susceptibility to pests and diseases.
  • Weed seeds can germinate more easily because more sun reaches the soil
  • Without the sheltering canopy of taller grass, rain hits the soil and compacts it.
Mow Bermudagrass to ¾–1″

Bermudagrass is a running grass. Close mowing stimulates running, making the grass thicker, which suppresses weeds and soil compaction.

Don’t remove more than ⅓ of the grass height

Mowing is pruning and grasses respond by redirecting energy and nutrients away from roots in order to produce new leaves, resulting in a weaker root system. Drastic cuts also increase water loss to stressful levels.


Travel north–south on one mowing and east–west on the next. This keeps growth upright and reduces lawnmower ruts.


Leave grass clippings on the lawn. They decompose quickly and can return up to 25% of the lawn’s fertilizer. If clippings are too plentiful, use them as mulch or let them dry a bit and then add to your compost.


Hopefully, you have read Lawns and properly prepared your cool-season lawn for the heat and drought that is normal for summers in our area. Lawns contains detailed watering instructions, which differ depending on whether you are keeping your lawn green or encouraging dormancy.


Replace any warm season turf that has suffered disease or cold damage. Cut the damaged area out with a shovel and lay the new sod in the hole. Water the sod heavily one time. Keep the sod moist until the root system takes hold and can support itself.

Start zoysia.