Planning for Beautiful Lawns

Watering:

Our own Master Gardener, Beverly, shares a compilation of watering tips from Kansas State University and MU Extension, gleaned from soil scientists studies of Kansas City area soils. For details on best watering practices and saving water, see the TRV handout (coming soon).

  • Frequent irrigation is the worst way to water an established lawn. It encourages shallow roots, crabgrass and other weeds, and diseases. Water thoroughly, then wait until the grass just begins to wilt, showing a dull grayish-green appearance, before watering again.
  • A rule for our soils is to apply enough water, in addition to natural rainfall, to equal 1″ of water per week TOTAL.
  • Don’t guess how much water is applied, measure it (see handout).
  • Most sprinkler systems apply water much faster than our soils can absorb it, and excess runs off. This wastes water and your money!
  • Water between 4am and 7am. Grass leaves can dry during the day, and winds tend to be calmer, increasing irrigation efficiency and coverage.

The manual to our sprinkler controller, the Hunter X-Core is online here, for reference.

Grass Seeding:

It’s starting to cool back down for the year, and early September is the perfect time to put down new seed.

In Timber Ridge, SAB provides initial sodding via O’Connor Sodding. Shaunty’s does mowing and fertilizing. But it’s up to us homeowners to water and put down grass seed when needed.

I’ve bought a decent sized stash of Kentucky Bluegrass from the Grass Pad, and any of you are welcome to come get some. Email me direct or reply in the comments, and I’ll let you know when to swing by.

Beverly also shares a good article on finding the best quality grass seed, via K-State’s Cooperative Extension.

Mulch:

In Timber Ridge, SAB provides initial mulching via New Beginnings Landscaping. Centennial hires the lawn care provider to renew the street-visible mulch beds, and mulch on the city required retaining wall (West edge) each Spring, in early April. The lawn care provider does not pull weeds or grass that encroach into mulch beds though, so that falls to each homeowner.

If you need additional mulch, and wish to match what New Beginnings uses, it’s Java Brown from Suburban Lawn and Garden.

Plantings (including those in mulched areas) are provided by SAB via New Beginnings, but maintenance and replacement falls to individual homeowners.

Trees:

In Timber Ridge, SAB provides trees via New Beginnings Landscaping.  If you notice something wrong with your trees, be sure to contact SAB and New Beginnings within the first year before the warranty is up. After that time, maintenance and replacement becomes responsibility of each homeowner.

New trees require special time and attention — Even after you’re done watering your new lawn 4x daily, continue to water your trees separately.  The root balls go down at least 12″ and need to be slowly and deeply watered (pencil thick trickle moved around the tree) weekly until mid fall, then monthly through the end of the year.  Next year, continue to water them monthly and they will root more quickly and begin growing in our dreadful soil.  Newly planted trees and shrubs require three years to become fully established, and are expensive to replace.

The tree wrap paper can be removed after that first year and the support stakes after two years.  Let me know if you could use a hand with yanking those stakes out of the ground.

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