4 ingenious lawn care solutions, according to the golf course superintendents


Josh Sens

December 24, 2021

Nobody knows more about lawn care than the golf course master. Here are some of the best tips we’ve gathered from them this year.

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The year is drawing to a close, lawns and pitches in large parts of the country have been forgotten. But lawn care training never sleeps. In the spirit of uninterrupted learning, we’ve scoured the past 12 months in interviews with superintendents looking for the smartest and most surprising insights. Here are our four most popular lawn care tips from our Super Secrets series in 2021.

1. A meat thermometer to measure floor temperatures

Many maintenance methods are based on soil temperature, which can affect everything from how and when you mow, to fertilization and watering. To measure the mercury in your yard, you can purchase a soil thermometer from your local lawn care store. Or you can just use a Thanksgiving leftover. The same thermometer that you dipped in your turkey will work fine if you put it in your yard.

Tip originally published in: 6 Lawn Care Musts for Spring Preparation (March 19, 2021)

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2. The tuna can water test

When it comes to watering your lawn, you’ll want to take one side of Goldilocks and get the amounts just right. But how do you know if you are doing too much or too little? Superintendents have sophisticated tools to answer this question. But here is a hack you can use at home. When watering, place an empty tuna can in your yard and measure the water level in the can when you are done. On average, you should try to give your weed about an inch of water every seven days. Simple math will tell you whether you are drinking too much or too little of your weed.

Tip originally appeared in: 5 clever lawn care tricks that you would have liked to have learned years ago (3.09.2021)

3. Rapeseed oil as a pest control

The world is inundated with chemical products that kill or repel all kinds of pests. However, if you want to do something good for the environment, think about what’s in your kitchen cabinet instead. A number of natural oils, including sesame oil and canola oil, can help keep bugs at bay, whether by choking or drying out, or by dissolving their larvae. And unlike chemical pesticides, you can cook with it too.

Tip originally appeared in: 5 Clever Pest Control Tactics That Are Guaranteed to Improve Your Garden (September 17, 2021)

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4. Use frost to promote growth

Frost often kills or damages lawns. But you can use it to encourage new growth. The way to do this is through a process known to farmers as “frost sowing”. As the first serious cold snap of the season approaches, plant the seeds, ideally with a slot seeder, to make thin slits in the soil for the seeds to settle. Then let the freeze cycle do its job. As the soil freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts, causing the seeds to penetrate deeper into the soil where they begin to germinate before winter sets in. In spring these wintering seedlings wake up with a healthy lead into the year.

The tip originally appeared in: Why sowing your garden before winter in spring (November 12, 2021) pays off

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Josh Sens, a golf, food and travel writer, has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes to all GOLF platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also co-author with Sammy Hagar of Are We Have Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.

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