Keeping your lawn lush throughout the summer doesn’t have to mean dousing your grass with a million gallons of water. Instead, keep the grass a little bit longer than usual and you can water less.

There are several advantages to “mowing long.” Letting the grass blades get a little longer can

  • reduce the growth, which lowers the water demand: Water and growth are directly proportionate. Watering less leads to slower growth which in turn takes less water. Easy to understand! You help this process when you choose grasses that are right for your climate. Without a lot of rainfall, you want to choose grasses that are already a bit drought-tolerant like St. Augustine, zoysia grass, and buffalo grass. These grasses need about 20% less water than some other grasses.
  • promote deeper root growth: While there is less water being poured over the surface of your lawn, you promote deeper root growth which helps grass use water from the soil more efficiently. Typically people water their lawns twice as much as they should. Experts say to water “infrequently but thoroughly,” as much as one inch of water at the first sign of wilting grass. Thirsty soil that is not saturated daily, will absorb this quickly and keep the roots searching down into the soil.
  • discourage weed growth: Oddly enough, long blades of grass offer enough shade on the soil that weeds cannot germinate properly. Think about it; the hardest place to grow grass is always under a big shady tree and weeds won’t grow there either.

This summer, leave the lawnmower in the shed and enjoy your long lawn.