Spring Lawn Care

Spring Grass Care: Dealing With Elongated Stems

Robotic Lawn Mower Ireland

Spring Grass Care: Dealing With Elongated Stems

 

Spring Grass Care – Spring is well and truly on its way. Daffodils are in evidence as we wait for the grass to grow.

Elongated Stems
Elongated Stems

 

Ever present in quite a few lawns this year are elongated stems. As you see from the picture this can be a long light yellow to light brown stem. This problem most likely started in your lawn in the last year or so and it is mainly caused from prolonged dry  spells where the grass starts to wilt from drought stress. Another reason is where  grass is been cut at too high a height for long periods of time and the grass develops   these elongated stems.

 

It is very easy to identify. Your lawn will seem puffy under foot and will have a lot of brown leaves and white stems present.

Elongated Stems Further Analyses
Elongated Stems Further Analyses

 

Within the grass canopy you may feel very restricted in cutting your lawn down because of the ugly appearance after mowing, so you just keep cutting at the higher height to avoid the unsightly look. However, this is not solving the problem in fact, it is just making it worse. In this case you are better biting the bullet and particularly in Spring before Spring growth starts.

 

Spring Grass Care – There are two ways of dealing with this problem in your lawn:

 

Spring Grass Care Tip Number One – We would recommend to lower the height of cut, best to start off on the same height as you did your last cut last year, and each time slowly reducing the height of cut by 1 notch at a time. So if you work down your height of cut over a few weeks gradually and work on getting it down to notch 3 on the setting. Most ride-on mowers are 1-7 with 1 been the lowest notch / height and 7 been the highest. Yes the lawn will look unsightly because you are cutting down into the stem so it will look yellowish white to brown.

 

The lawn will look unsightly with this process but this will recover after a time as new blades of grass will merge from the stem.

 

Spring Grass Care Tip Number Two – Scarification – This is a vertical blade which will be cutting right down into the soil and creating new tillers. Continue to reduce your height of cut and scarify the lawn and this would be the best practice in the case where elongated stems are taking over the lawn and your grass is thin and weak in the lawn, due to this elongated stem.

 

What you are trying to achieving here is getting the leaf/stem of grass down closer to the crown so you reduce the length of this elongated stem and your lawn will be a much healthier grass plant and much healthier looking lawn.

 

However it is very important when carrying out the above program that you, do not cut the lawn too tight or you will be open to getting a bad infestation of moss and the reason this happens is because you are damaging the crown of the grass plant. This weakens the grass so the moss will get in on the weak damaged grass. It would also be recommended to use a good quality slow release Spring feed / fertilizer to get a good recovery after you start the mowing / scarifying process.