How to Grow: Wet Weather Lawn Care

Listen to this podcast on how to care for your lawn organically during wet weather.

Drop, Grass, Flora, Freshness, Dew, Lawn, GrowthIt continues to be a cool, rainy spring. While our shrubs and trees are taking their time leafing out, nothing stops the lawn. It’s been growing a mile a minute and mowing is difficult with the soggy soils. So, it’s a good time to talk organic lawn care.

First of all, if your lawn is so wet there are puddles or the characteristic squishing sound as you walk, avoid mowing. If the grass is becoming a jungle, then mow with the lightest weight mower possible so not to compact the soil. Mow at 3 inches tall to create a thicker, lusher lawn with a strong root system. This will help deter browning in summer when the weather gets dry (and it will!) and prevents weeds from moving in. Leave the grass clipping on the lawn to decompose and feed the grass. If the lawn has gotten out of control with all the rain, then mow in stages, slowly decreasing the mower height to 3 inches. Avoid scalping the lawn. That harms the grass growth point and opens up the lawn to weed seeds.

Seed and patch the lawn now using a grass seed adapted to your conditions. Sow a mix with Kentucky bluegrass for full sun lawns. For part shade, find a mix dominated by creeping or fine fescue and turf-type tall fescue.

If you’re only fertilizing the lawn once a year, do so in fall. However, top dress the lawn with ¼ inch thick layer of compost and over seed with a similar grass type that you’re already growing now to grow a thick, healthy lawn grass. Even if you remove weeds by hand digging or spreading an herbicide, they will come right back unless your lawn is thick and healthy.

Excerpted from the Vermont Garden Journal on Vermont Public Radio.