Don’t let the void of sports get you down. Just because you can’t spend an entire Saturday yelling at the ref on TV for making a bad call doesn’t mean you have to settle for watching reruns. You already know how they end and there’s no point getting worked up (again) about LSU being offsides.
Pickup games of basketball may be off the table, but you can still work up a sweat on your way to having the best looking lawn on the block. I don’t care what ESPN says— pulling weeds is more athletic than playing poker.
Australian researchers claim that the smell of freshly cut grass releases dopamine in the brain, which is the chemical that makes you happy. They went so far as to create a scent to mimic the aroma. To quote Hank Hill, “Why would anyone do drugs when they could just mow a lawn?”
Get a little vitamin D by getting outside and taking care of your grass. Speaking of nutrients, the first thing you can do is test your soil to see what plant nutrients are available. If you fertilize your yard without a test, it’s like pouring a quart of oil in your car without checking the dipstick first. Sure, you might get it just right, but are you confident you’re that good? If you mess it up you’re wasting money, either by not applying enough and having a lackluster plant density that leaves the door wide open for weeds you’re just going to have to kill later, or by over applying and letting fertilizer wash away before the plant has a chance to use it. That’s like turning the thermostat down to 60 degrees and leaving the front door open.
Just like some of us with our quarantine mullets, our yards could benefit from a fresh cut. The good news is you can mow your lawn without getting within six feet of anyone, and wearing one of those homemade masks will help with allergies. Depending on your grass type, you’ll want to mow your lawn weekly to one or two inches. Mowing also helps suppress weeds, as most species aren’t able to produce enough leaf area below 2 inches to sustain themselves. Mowing with sharp blades will help keep the edges from browning and getting infected.
What about water? For most soils, it’s recommended to irrigate to a depth of six inches when soil moisture is depleted in the topsoil. Given the soil is only about 50 percent pore space by volume, that means applying three inches of water through your sprinklers. Our soils are liable to run off most of that water if you try to put it all out at once, so you might have to cycle through watering different zones to allow it to sink in adequately.
Need help getting started? Come see us in the courthouse and we’ll get you on the right track.
Marshall Tolleson is a county extension agent for the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. The AgriLife office is located at 100 W. Houston St., Sherman. For more information, visit www.Grayson.AgriLife.org.