Shorter Mow + Applying Hydretain to Front Yard Lawn - June 2021

I decided to do a couple of (new to me) things with my front lawn this year including some of the things that I've already covered like spoon-feeding a granular with Sea Kelp (applied at end of April and end of May - so far).  But, this post is intending to cover two other new (to me) things:   First... I'm cutting it shorter than I've done in the past.  For the past couple of years, I put the mower ALL THE WAY up and cut at that length. I had a deep green lawn through most of the Summer and didn't get killed with a water bill.  But, the length came at the cost of neat-ness.  My e-Go mower doesn't have a ton of vacuum power, so there was always a lot of folded over blades.

So, a risky change:  This year, I'm putting it on the 4th 'notch' out of the six on my Ego walk behind push mower.  Last year, I was cutting at six.  See below for the difference - which is about an inch shorter.

And the second new (to me) thing - which is a companion to that shorter cut - is that I just applied Hydretain to the front lawn - via a hose-end bottle.  I ended up buying this version (hose-end) because the granular version was sold out.  Here's the bottle below - showing how much of the product I applied to just the main lawn.  For now, I skipped the parkway and the 'in between two drives' strip:


Here, below, are the instructions.  And the lines about both applying it to damp soil AND applying 1/4" to 1/2" of water on TOP of the Hydretain is *why* I only applied to main lawn.  I have one sprinkler up there, so I laid down 1/2" of water first, sprayed this on, then put sprinkler back on for another hour.  I was afraid that if I sprayed this into the parkway and then wasn't able to sprinkle it in for an hour, it would dry on the blades.


So, what is Hydretain?  It is what they call "soil moisture management".  The guys at Yard Mastery say that Hydretain is one of the 'secrets' of the golf course management business.  It allows you - per the claims - to water up to 50% less each season and lasts for up to 90 days.  That gets me through the HEART of my growing season - June, July, August.  

You can go check out the science behind the stuff here on their site. Is it snake oil?  Not sure yet.  But, I was careful about applying this exactly how they spec'd it, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to give this a proper review this season.  

I was worried that by cutting the grass lower than in previous seasons, I'd expose myself to browning out and having the grass go dormant.  But, you can read some of the reviews on DoMyOwn to see for yourself.   I applied the stuff on Tuesday, June 1st for the main lawn despite this post being dated June 6th. 

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