- Spring is when grass grows the feeder roots that capture water all season.
- Later (Summer) the turf will grow blades, then store nutrients for Winter.
If you give your lawn too much water now, the roots will remain shallow in the top inch or so of the soil. Shallow roots dry out sooner, so the grass will stress and its brown spots will beg for water. Don’t water if there’s precipitation, and test soil moisture before you do water. Probe the lawn with a screwdriver. If it’s hard to push the screwdriver into the soil a few inches, it’s time to water.
When the top inch of soil is allowed to dry out while the roots are in growth mode, the roots will grow deeper in search of moisture. By encouraging those water-seeking roots to grow deep, you can help develop a healthier, water-wise lawn.
In the heat of July, you’ll be glad you trained the roots when the deep-rooted lawn is less stressed and requires less water.
- Planting grass where it won’t grow. Turf needs full sun. Looking to fill in a shady spot? Consider a ground cover suited to shade, like vinca minor (Periwinkle) or sweet woodruff. Ask your landscape professional or local garden center for recommendations.
- Planting only one type of grass and/or the wrong kind. Variety is a necessary ingredient for a healthy landscape. Know your zone, and plant grasses that can thrive in Colorado’s sunny, dry conditions.
- Improper watering. Take the time to train the root by watering less frequently but more deeply. Cycle and soak—but not midday when water is lost to evaporation. Follow local watering guidelines, and don’t water until your lawn needs it.
- Mowing too short. It’s a simple error to fix: raise your mower blade. The best height for lawn health and water conservation is 2 ½ to 3 inches. You should mow often enough that you are never removing more than 1/3 of the lawn height. Leave the clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil and keep moisture in.
- Improper use of fertilizer. So many things can go wrong with fertilizer: too much, too little, applied at the wrong time of year. The right fertilizer applications can give you a lush lawn that looks great provides all possible benefits, including cooling your yard, providing oxygen, and reducing runoff.