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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Lawns requiring special attention

Mowing turf during drought

Do not mow turfgrasses suffering drought or other climatic stresses. Grass suffering from lack of water should be watered deeply and then mowed after the leaf blades have dried off. Cut at the highest allowable height for your turf species. This increases the leaf area and photosynthesis which results in more carbohydrates for plant growth. It also encourages a deeper root system. Mowing at the highest height and only removing a third of the leaf blade at a time allows for more efficient use of water. Keeping your mower blades sharp and balanced will allow cut grass blades to recover more quickly and lose less water than if cut by a dull mower blade.

Mowing weedy areas

Mow weedy turf frequently to avoid the patchy appearance that can result from the uneven growth of weeds.

Mowing turf in shade

For shady areas, mowing your turf slightly higher than is normally recommended will allow for more efficient absorption of light. This will also reduce your mowing frequency. Higher cuts will encourage deeper roots and infrequent mowing will leave fewer open wounds on the leaves, reducing the incidence of disease. See the following publications for more information:

Photo of weeds growing in a lawn

Photo of a lawn growing in shade

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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