Summer Lawn Care
In the spring, the emphasis in lawn care is on fertilization and weed control to restore a lawn’s health and color after the cold, winter months. Spring has the perfect temperature for grass to grow and enough rainfall but when summer hits, the temperatures rise and the rain in some areas becomes less frequent. There are two main types of grasses, cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses that grow best in temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s respectively. Lawns start to struggle once the temperature exceeds 80 degrees and could show signs of fading or even go dormant. Here are some lawn care tips to help keep your lawn looking green and healthy through the hot summer months.
One important aspect of summer lawn care is lawn watering. Watering is a little trickier than it appears and should be handled delicately, especially in the summer months. It is important to not over water, lawns should receive about an inch of water per week. Any rain or precipitation a lawn receives is included in the one inch which is why keeping track of the weekly precipitation helps to avoid overwatering. The inch of water should be spread slowly and evenly during watering. This will encourage deep watering which leads to stronger, drought-tolerant roots. It is also best to water early in the day before the temperature reaches its height and the lawn is holding the most moisture. Watering during the hottest point of the day will waste water to evaporation. If a lawn goes dormant, watering it will not help. The lawn will restore itself when the temperatures change again in the fall and then it can be watered again. Good watering practices are important for maintaining a healthy lawn in the summer.
Lawn mowing is another important aspect of summer lawn care. Keeping grass at the right length is the key when mowing lawns in the summer. Taller grass yields deeper roots that are more resistant to droughts and help prevent weed growth and germination. It is best to mow cool-season grasses at 3-4 inches and warm-season grasses at 2-3 inches. It also helps to mow regularly so that no more than a third of the grass blade is cut at a time. This is healthier for the grass and prevents long clippings from smothering the lawn. The clippings can be mulched and used to preserve moisture in the lawn. Mowing the lawn regularly to the correct lengths will help maintain a lawn’s health throughout the summer.
The final aspect of good summer lawn care is lawn applications such as fertilizer, weed control, and pest control. Chemical fertilizers tend to burn lawns in the summer months, which is why they should stop being applied about a month before summer temperatures set in. Organic fertilizers release slowly and are less likely to burn lawns; however, fertilization should happen sparingly in the summer. Weeds should be removed in the summer before they germinate and seed in the fall. The best weed control to use is control that contains post-emergent herbicides that target weeds specifically without damaging the grass. Weed control is best applied in temperatures below 85 degrees. Keeping a healthy lawn also helps protect against pest infestation because lawns that get stressed or go dormant are more likely to get infestations. Summer is the season when grubs hatch so grub control can start being applied in midsummer if there are signs of grubs or if the lawn has a history of grub infestations. With all these chemical applications, it is best to use them sparingly or only as they are needed. Chemicals of all kinds can be stressful on lawns, especially in hot temperatures.
Following these tips should help ensure a lush, healthy lawn during the hottest months of the year. Careful watering and regular mowing are the best actions to take during the summer while trying to avoid chemical applications or only using them sparingly if needed. Some lawn care companies such as Green T Lawn Care also have excellent summer lawn care programs. Do not let your lawn go dormant or become stressed in the summer, follow these tips to maintain a healthy summer lawn.