New England author Mark Twain has a famous saying about rapidly changing weather here, but the same can be said for varying soil and climate conditions that can impact the look and health of your lawn.
Massachusetts-based Weston Nurseries help keep lawns looking good year-round with a month-by-month schedule of seasonal tips here.
The University of Maine’s Coop Extension promotes low-input lawn-care practices that are reducing millions of pounds of yard-care pesticides that are brought into Maine. Residents can visit the UM Extension website to learn about how a low-input effort creates an ecologically diverse lawn that will look green and healthy without intensive fertilizer and pesticide treatments.
The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Division says the grass will be greener on your side of the fence if you select a lawn seed mixture that performs well where it is sown—and recommend residents choose lawn seed mixtures that contain varieties tolerant to New Hampshire’s diverse climate and soil conditions.
The University of Rhode Island says soil compaction and thatch build-up result in shallow roots and reduces water and air flow into the soil. Mechanical soil aeration, vertical mowing (thatch removal) and coring can help loosen compacted soil—and mechanical de-thatching in the early fall is recommended for lawns with more than one inch of thatch build-up.
Over at The University of Vermont Department of Plant and Soil Science, the mantra is, as long as the grass is growing, keep mowing! And mow at the proper height. The staff at UVM believes this is often the most misunderstood and abused part of lawn care.
They say most grasses should be mowed at two to two and a half inches in spring and fall, and 3 – 4 inches at the height of summer, while the last mowing of the season can be about 2 inches. This helps prevent grass packing too much under snow cover, making it susceptible to leaf diseases like snow mold.
UVM says if you are adding fertilizer, wait until early fall and only use quick release fertilizer so the grass can take it up before winter. Most slow release fertilizers will be lost in the soil—or worse into watersheds—over winter when grass isn’t growing.