Lawn maintenance & water restrictions

Asked March 17, 2013, 4:42 PM EDT

Assuming lawn watering will be restricted to twice a week, how often can I expect the grass to need cutting? Should I still fertilize three times over the season and aerate spring and fall? Any other recommendations??? Thanks, you are always the go-to people for my head-scratching queries.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

You can still have a great lawn with these water restrictions. Assuming you have a KY bluegrass (cool-season) lawn, you can expect it to need mowing more frequently (perhaps every 4-5 days) in late April through mid - June when it is growing fast. When summer heat arrives it will slow down so that mowing once weekly is sufficient. The "rule of thumb" is to mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the blade height is removed. During drought periods it is best to mow KY bluegrass at a 3 - 3.25 inch cut height.

If your KY bluegrass lawn is 12 years old or more, fertilizing 3 X per season should be sufficient - at half rate sometime in May, at full rate in early Sept and full rate in mid-late Oct.

Suggest you core aerate your lawn based on the soil type and the amount of foot traffic it receives - If it is clayey soil and your lawn has lots of foot traffic from dogs, kids, etc, core aerate thoroughly (enough passes so that core holes average 3" apart) April, early June and Sept.
If your lawn is on better soil and gets little foot traffic, core aerate thoroughly April or Sept.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07202.html