For you, summertime means fun in the sun, but for your lawn it can be a more stressful time. We tend to spend more time outdoors in the warmer months for sports, barbecues, entertaining, or just relaxing, and we want our lawns to look their best. But heat, drought, sun, pests, and extra foot traffic make it harder for grasses and plants to thrive during these months. You may need to work a little harder to keep your lawn green all summer long, but there are ways to help it beat the heat.
Signs that Your Summer Lawn Is Suffering
It’s not easy being green—even for your lawn. In the dry, hot summer months it is more susceptible to diseases and pests. Keep your eyes open for the following signs that the grass in your yard is suffering from the summertime blues.
- Brown or yellow spots
- Diseased patches
- Dried out grass
- Pest infestations
- Excessive weeds
How to Save Your Summer Lawn
Preparing your yard for the warmer weather ahead can go a long way in keeping it lush. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy green lawn this summer.
- Watering – The most efficient time to water your lawn is in the morning. When you water in the wee hours, the moisture has a chance to soak into the soil instead of just being evaporated by the afternoon heat. The grass also has plenty of time to dry out before nightfall–wet grass at night creates favorable conditions for diseases to develop. It’s best to water deeply and infrequently, so the lawn’s root system can absorb it better. Keep in mind that summer lawns do well with about one inch of water per week, and that includes rainfall.
- Just breathe – A lawn needs oxygen as well as water, so it should be aerated–a process that helps it to absorb the water better with less runoff. The least expensive way to do this is to use a pitchfork and poke it into the ground every six inches or so. If your yard is very big, it may be better to hire a machine or a professional to take on the task.
- Mow in the know – Summertime also means more mowing for you. Some property owners try to mow grass as short as possible so they don’t have to do it as often, but this is a mistake. Mowing higher may mean mowing more often, but it will go a long way in keeping your lawn healthy and green. By raising the height of the blades on your mower, you can keep your grass better sheltered from the sun and heat–taller grass retains moisture better, grows deeper roots, and keeps weeds from taking over. A good rule of thumb is to never cut more than 1/3 off of the blades at one time. Keep cool-season grasses between 3 and 4 inches, while warm-season grasses do better between 2 and 3 inches.The mower’s blade should be kept sharp–giving the grass a clean cut helps it to heal faster. Dull blades tear the grass instead of making a smooth cut, and will cause the lawn to brown.It’s also a good idea to use a mulching mower, which returns the grass clippings to the lawn. As the clippings decompose they help to feed the lawn, acting almost like a slow-release fertilizer.
- Fertilizing – That brings us to feeding your lawn. If your lawn is suffering from summer stress, fertilizing it isn’t going to help. It’s best to give it a good feeding before the summer to get it in its best shape, then feed it again after the summer heat is gone to help it heal from the demanding season.
To learn more ways to keep your grass lush and lovely in the summer heat, contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone].