Dad Is Cutting Grass Too Low

Q: My dad (at age 91) cuts our very large yard on a riding mower. He insists on cutting it as low as a golf green. He thinks it saves him more frequent cuttings, but then he complains about all the chickweed he has to control. The grass looks awful: it’s a mixture of fescue and whatever else can survive. We have a circular driveway in the front. I’d like to mow it correctly and show him the difference.

A: Doing comparison planting is the basis of University of Georgia Extension education. My father claimed that he had stack of Extension bulletins a foot high by the time he was twenty. He wanted to know which variety of cotton he should plant, which beans were best and what variety of corn he should plant for his mules. In late March loosen the soil in the circle manually or with an aerator. Scatter turf-type fescue seed at a rate of 5 pounds per1000 square feet. Do not exceed this rate; avoid seed crowding. Apply any lawn fertilizer at the rate specified on the bag. Water as appropriate. Here’s the key practice to show your father: maintain the fescue at three inches high. I have no doubt your part of the lawn will be beautiful!

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