LET IT GROW, LET GROW,LET IT GROW...
With the unrelenting sun we've had this July I'm sure you've seen plenty of sun scalded lawns this summer.
Now I know that all of you retired guys love to give your lawns weekly crewcuts to make them look like putting greens, but since you’re not playing golf on your lawn
you’re probably doing more harm than good. In fact scalping your lawn is probably one of the worst things you can do; especially, if you don’t have an established lawn or if you’re lawn is not performing as perfectly as you like. So here are four benefits that taller grass can have:
1. STRENGTH: More grass equals more mass; more mass can absorb more heat. What is harder to heat up a cup of tea or your pool? It’s the same way with your
lawn. Growing your grass just one inch longer can dramatically increase the overall mass of your lawn. This can radically increase the amount of heat that it can absorb giving it powerful advantage in the summer sun.
2. LESS WATER: Taller grass provides more surface area to absorb sunlight. This means more sunlight is absorbed by energy producing chlorophyll to produce stronger, deeper roots which can absorb more water. More surface area on your blades of grass also acts like an umbrella, shading the earth below it, reducing evaporation. Less evaporation means less watering. Shade also stops the sun from baking your soil and heating up the roots, in turn, requiring less water to keep them cool.
3. FEWER WEEDS: Most of our detested lawn weeds, like nut sedge and crabgrass, require bare space and sunlight to germinate. In fact, when it’s over 90 degrees Fahrenheit most turf grasses metabolism slows to a near stop, while villainous crabgrass spreads like herpes. Taller grass shields bare spaces in the lawn preventing weeds from invading. Taller grass also shades the earth beneath it denying weeds the sunlight it needs to germinate. If you’ve been
battling weeds in your lawn, growing your grass out a bit is the easiest thing thing that you can do to develop a weed free, established lawn.
4. DISEASE RESISTANCE: A cut lawn is a wounded lawn. Every time you mow your lawn you’re severing blades of grass, effectively creating an open wound.
Your lawn is just like you. An open wound is more susceptible to disease. According to the Cornell Cooperative Turf Grass Guide taller grass is less
susceptible to Brown Patch and Leaf Spot diseases. This is “due primarily to the large number of fresh wounds that frequent mowing produces” and because
“grass mowed to longer lengths is less susceptible because it has more green tissue left allowing for greater photosynthesis”. If you’ve been having annual
problems with fungal diseases, letting your grass grow a little longer during the blistering summer heat can give you a better looking lawn just in case you don’t
time those fungus treatments perfectly.
So stop being so uptight you’re not running a country club. It’s summertime! You don’t want a crew cut. Have some fun, lighten up, live a little and grow it out!
Remember summer is just a few months a year and, just like when you were a little kid, it’s over before you know it, but the benefits of a longer lawn can pay dividends for years and years. Besides, longer is always better isn’t it?
Written By Adam White