While summer is a favorite season for many, the heat can take a toll on grass. If you mow too low or underwater the sod, the grass can suffer and become damaged resulting in large unsightly patches. When it concerns lawn maintenance, it is best to think of the season in phases of early, mid and late summer. How you care for the lawn will depend on the phase you’re currently in. Keep your lawn looking its greenest throughout the whole summer with these tips.
Mow at the Right Height
Adjust your mowers height to leave grass taller in the summer. Taller grass provide shade for the soil which can reduce evaporation, prevent weeds, and lead to deeper roots over time. Aim to time your mowing’s so you don’t remove more that 1/3 of the surface at one time.
Feeding your lawn in the early summer helps strengthen the grass so it withstands the heat and draught that summer usually brings.
Treat for Pests
Many insects like to lay their eggs in the grass in early summer. These eggs then hatch into grubs later in the season. These pests munch their way through the roots of grass which results in dead patches.
Let Grass Clippings Lie
If you’re mowing your lawn at the right height, you can just let clippings lie on the lawn. They will breakdown and help feed your lawn. This is called “grasscycling” and can save you time, money and fertilizer.
Feed as Needed
Your lawn may require some mid-summer feeding to continue to promote healthy growth throughout the season. However, be careful not to damage your already heat stressed grass. It’s a good idea to check with your local garden center, if you’re unsure, for recommendations on whether you should fertilize.
Water your lawn deeply but at infrequent interludes. You can use a screwdriver or small trowel to see how deeply water is sinking into the soil. A depth of 4-6 inches is ideal.
Water in the Morning
Later in the summer your lawn will lose less water to evaporation if you time yourself to water it between 6 and 10 am. Monitor your water usage to make sure certain areas aren’t becoming too saturated. Don’t forget to factor in rain, if it’s been drizzly you won’t have to water as much if at all if the ground still seems moist.
A dull mower blade will tear your grass up and create a ragged edge that will make your lawn lose moisture quicker than grass that is cleanly cut. Regularly sharpen your blades to avoid these issues.
When autumn rolls around, the leaves begin to fall. Act quickly and don’t wait for these leaves to pile up. Remove them often so they don’t become damp as piles of wet leaves can create fungal problems for your grass.
Set yourself up for success for the next spring and summer by getting some weeds under control now. Apply fertilizer as needed to give your lawn the nutrients it needs to get through the winter season.
As we can see lawn care doesn’t just cover the summer months. Prepare your lawn in advance for the heat that summer brings and you can have a yard that can thrive into fall and beyond.