What can I do to achieve that award-winning lawn?
Lawns should be maintained at a 2 1/2" - 3" height. This will encourage deeper roots, improve color, and will hold soil moisture longer. Lawns will be more able to resist drought and adverse weather conditions.
In our area, it takes about 1" of precipitation to water our soil to a 6" depth. Therefore, your watering should provide this amount of water in all areas approximately three times a week. You can check the soil moisture by poking a 6" long screwdriver into the soil after watering. It should slide like "butter" if moisture is adequate.
Aeration allows water, fertilizer, and oxygen to penetrate deeper into soil. It helps control thatch and encourages a deeper root system. Aeration is recommended yearly especially for compacted or heavy clay soils.
In our area, we are seeing an increase in several types of grubs and billbugs. The larvae of these insects feed on the roots of the grass. Generally, the damage begins to appear in June and can continue until September. Preventative treatments are recommended. Left untreated the damage can be severe.
Most lawns in our area do not have a large problem with diseases. In most cases, fungal disease may be controlled with proper watering frequency and aeration.