In our “Summer Gardening” series, JCMS will look at various topics touching on summer lawn and garden care for San Diego residents. This week we will look at “Grass 101,” a basic primer of lawn care for those living in southern California.
Water, Water Everywhere
The first step in a healthy, lush and green lawn is to figure out exactly where you are in relation to the coast and desert and how much water your lawn will need as a result. According to the University of California’s Extension Office, there are several steps you should take to determine if your lawn is getting enough water:
Determine the type of grass you have. California grasses can be divided into warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine or cool-season grasses such as fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass.
Determine which region you live in according to this map. Region 9, close to the coast, will have different watering requirements than region 10, the inland area, or Region 11 farther to the east and closer to a desert climate.
Determine your watering output. If you have sprinklers, determine their output by spacing six equally-sized containers around your yard and turning the sprinklers on for 20 minutes. Measure the depth of water in each can and average it, then multiply by three to get inches per hour.
Determine how much water your grass needs. For example, in Region 9, along the San Diego coastline, warm-season grasses require 22 minutes of watering per week in January if your sprinkler output is one inch per hour. However, Region 11 needs 27 minutes for the same time of year and same water output.
Cutting Too Close
You should also examine the mower blade on your power mower to be sure it is sharp and determine the right height to cut your grass. It is always better to cut a little “long” and go back again rather than simply cutting too close the first time, which can kill the grass.
What you may need to do to determine the best height for your mower blade is mow small patches of grass at several various heights. Watch these patches to determine if they brown or overgrow too quickly.
Juniper Landscape Company in San Diego can take care of your watering and cutting needs if this is all too much for you! Give us a call today; we will be happy to help you grow a beautiful, healthy lawn and maintain it properly.