Water is key to all things going well with your lawn. Weeds will get smothered out with your strong grass growing, and it will naturally keep the raccoons from digging up your lawn looking for grubs. There are many different ways to water a lawn, from the daily sprinkling of water needed to help a newly seeded lawn germinate, to the daily soaking needed by new sod in the first few weeks, to the regular deep root watering an established lawn needs on a weekly basis.
Once your lawn is established one good soaking weekly for 3-4 hours with a good full coverage sprinkler (Gardenia is good) or even more in the hot heat of summer. The long period allows the water to soak deep down in the soil in order for your grass roots to have to grow strong and long in order to reach water. The grass is now healthy and will grow thick. Less water applied more frequently and you will encourage the roots to stay short and near the surface, they may be sustaining life but they will not grow into thick dense grass plants.
Your child could sustain life eating junk food but would they not grow strong and healthy if they were on a proper diet. By allowing your grass roots to become strong an infestation of grubs will not destroy your lawn because the lawn will be strong and thick enough to withstand some half eaten roots.
Lawns all have a few grubs, people only notice them when they have allowed their lawn to go dry. The grass roots in most cases are closer to the surface so the grubs are up closer as well, which is why you tend to see more of them if you dig up an area that has little lawn surviving due to drought and heavy sunshine. The result, they eat what is left and what they can find. The strong sunshine has probably beaten up a lot of the lawn.
Now, an environment has been created where the grubs are closer to the surface. Ha! what happens next, the raccoons and squirrels can smell the chunky slimmy little things and start digging up your lawn looking for them. Lets call them Filet Minion for raccoons and squirrels. Simple enough concept.
Now lets look at a lawn that has lots of thick deep grass roots. The grubs can eat to their hearts content and they can stay down low in the soil where it is more moist. (they like that) and get all the food they need. These strong grass plants can survive a few half eaten roots and stay down low enough that the raccoons and skunks can`t find them.
Same as the lawn weeds, exposed soil on your lawn is a breeding ground for every air borne weed seed flying by. A thick lawn cut at 2.5″- 3″ will give these weed seeds a difficult time to settle in to do their dirty little deeds. Most weeds have wonderful long roots in order to get at the water, and are then able to easily have their way with your week lawn.
This will not happen with those that have a lush thick healthy lawn. Saving money on your annual water bill may well cost you far greater lawn repair bills, or a complete re sodding. Next time someone asks you what they should do about their tired lawn, ask them about their watering habits, you will start seeing a pattern. They are probably cutting it too short and bagging it as well, but that is a story for another blog time.
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