Whatever pro lawn treatments you get, there are still many important tasks left for you to do—or to pay someone to do.

How to Mow Properly

  • Don’t mow grass too short. Most local lawns should not be cut below a height of about 2½ to three inches, but zoysia grass should be mowed to about one inch.
  • Mow often enough that no more than one-third of the blade is cut at a time.
  • Keep your mower’s blades sharp to avoid tearing grass leaves, which makes them brown and vulnerable to pests.
  • Mow when grass is dry.
  • Leave clippings on the lawn so they can decompose and fertilize the soil, but spread out or remove big clumps of clippings so they don’t form areas of matting on top of the lawn.

How and When to Water

  • Grass should be watered when leaves are just close to wilting; your grass is in the danger zone if you leave footprints when you walk on it.
  • In general, to keep grass green during the summer, make sure it gets about one inch of water per week; a rain gauge can help here.
  • Try to water in the morning. Nighttime sprinkling may contribute to disease problems.
  • Water thoroughly, avoiding short, shallow sessions. To encourage growth, water should penetrate at least three inches into the soil.

Inspections

Survey your lawn every two weeks or so. If you see problems, don’t overreact; during long dry periods, in particular, browned-off areas may just mean that the grass has gone into a dormant stage to save its moisture and energy.