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Michael Wheeler: Keep your lawn happy even during height of summer
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Lawns and springtime go hand in hand for many people in the Gainesville and Hall County area.

For many of us, it is the gathering place for our children, family and neighbors. It’s where barbecues happen and spontaneous games of Frisbee and tag are begun.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about keeping your lawn lush and healthy. And if you pay attention to them, you will have a great looking lawn well into the height of summer.


One of the most important things to do for your lawn is to mow it at the proper height.

Depending on the type of grass you have in your yard, it could be anywhere from a half-inch to 2 1/2 inches. But no matter how tall you keep your lawn, cut no more than one third of the grass blade at a time.

If you are growing a Bermuda grass and want to keep it at three-quarters of an inch, cut when it reaches 1 inch. If you are growing tall fescue, cut it when it reaches more than 3 inches to maintain it at 2 1/2 inches.


Depending on the amount of foot traffic your lawn receives, fertilize your lawn as well. If your lawn does not receive a lot of traffic, you can get away with not fertilizing your lawn too many times during the season. When you do fertilize, only apply the amount of fertilizer your lawn can use at that time. Applying too much will only allow the excess to find its way to Lake Lanier causing needless pollution. Too much fertilizer will require more mowing and can create insect and disease problems.

For most lawns a pound of nitrogen is needed per application. For example, to get that 1 pound of nitrogen, apply 10 pounds of 10-10-10 or 6 pounds of 16-4-8. Lawns, in general, only need 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen throughout the entire growing season.


One sure fire way to ensure your lawn is getting the proper amount of nutrients is to do a soil test. Soil testing will tell you how much fertilizer is needed and more importantly tell you how much if any lime is required to adjust your soil pH.

If you have questions about your lawn, call your county extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or visit


Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293, His column appears biweekly and on