YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Is your lawn looking a little dry?
You’re probably not alone.
So how can you restore your lawn to its lush, green glory?
Frank Uhrain, president of Uhrain Greenhouses, said there are a number of reasons it’s dry.
First, look at the type of grass you have. Then, start getting rid of weeds.
“Weeds suck away all of the nutrients, all of the water, out of your garden, and they do the same thing in your lawn,” he said.
Trees, while good for the environment, can hurt your grass.
“Trees are sucking nutrients out of the ground, not only water, but fertilizer,” Uhrain said.
He said a tree with a 2-foot diameter trunk can take as much as 50 gallons of water per day from your yard.
If you’re getting serious, you can also check your lawn’s PH.
“Lawns like to be 5.8 to 7.2 PH,” Uhrain said. “Get litmus paper from your local hobby store…make a slurry, use distilled water, let it sit in for a minute, match up the colors, see where you are.”
There’s a lot of things you can do yourself, such as fertilizing, checking the lime and PH levels, and getting rid of weeds.
“You could buy Dacthal or 2,4-D broadleaf leaf killer, spray your lawn, get rid of all the weeds, and the grass is still alive,” he said.
He said you should fertilize at least once a year, every spring.
“If you have a four-step system, use a little in the fall, that’s great,” he said.
Next is cutting, and no, Uhrain isn’t talking about keeping your lines straighter than your neighbor’s.
“When July and August come along, raise your mower level by two notches,” he said. “When you cut the grass too low during this time, it’s normally dry. It’s very, very hard on your lawn to take that low cutting, like you do in the springtime when the lawn grows rapid.”
Uhrain said watering is good but can be expensive.
“When you water once a week, it should be heavy,” he said. “You want the water to dig down at least an inch-and-a-half. That’s going to be hours and hours on your water bill. If you can afford it, great. If you can’t, it’s not absolutely necessary.”
In Uhrain’s experience, he’s noticed that dry grass affects the birds, and he has an idea why but can’t prove it.
“We were kids, we’d wake up early in the morning or in the evening; we’d see birds out there in the lawn pecking the worms out,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s all the chemicals, if the animals can sense something. I think it’s because of the dryness. Those nightcrawlers are going deep, deep into the ground where there’s some moisture.”
So next time you’re having that morning cup of coffee, look out at your yard and ask yourself, “Why is my yard looking like this?”
“Some people don’t do anything at all to their lawn. All you have to do is spend a couple hundred dollars a year, put a little bit of time into it,” Uhrain said.