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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - August 21, 2008

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Watering grass, before or after cutting it
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Should I water my grass before or after cutting it, after it has not been watered in a few days along with dry times?

ANSWER:

Both the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program and Ohio State Extension Master Gardener agree that it is better to mow grass when it is dry, but the only reason seems to be that the cut grass blades tend to stick together when they are wet and leave clumps of unsightly grass piles on your lawn. If the piles are too dense, they could damage the grass underneath them unless they are removed. Otherwise, cutting the grass when it's wet won't hurt it. In fact, if your grass needs cutting and it is wet, it's better to go ahead and cut it rather than let it grow too high. Both sites listed above recommend not cutting more than 1/3 the length of the grass when it is mowed. They recommend a height of 2 to 3 inches for the lawn so if you are using a two-inch cutting length, you should cut your grass when it is no more than 3 inches high. The bottom line is—if your grass is growing too high and it's wet, cut it!

 

 

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