Lawns are often most appreciated over the summer when families spend more time outdoors. A lush green lawn also improves the curb appeal of your home. However, lawns can be difficult to care for in summer with the excessive heat and drier days. Here are some steps to summer lawn care that will keep your lawn looking its best all summer long.
Summer Lawn Care Doesn’t Mean Overwatering
A common misconception for homeowners is that summer equals lots of watering. The fact is, more plants and lawns are killed by over-watering than under-watering. DIY Network’s tips for summer watering suggest that water should penetrate your yard six to eight inches deep. After watering, simply shovel in a remote area of your lawn to see if it’s getting the proper hydration. While the water will seep into the soil 6-8 inches, that doesn’t mean you want to use 6-8 inches worth of water. You don’t need to water every day, and most lawns only need 1-1.5 inches of water per week, whether it comes from a sprinkler or rainfall. Drip irrigation systems are a great way to control the amount of water your lawn is getting.
Don’t Mow to Short
It’s an easy mistake to make. You grow tired of the excessive mowing and sweating in the summer heat so you cut your lawn super short and hope you won’t have to do it again so soon. While you certainly don’t want your lawn becoming overgrown over the summer, you also don’t ever want to cut it too short. Grass needs to be taller to develop strong roots that absorb more moisture from deeper within the soil. A good height to aim for is 3-4 inches. With this in mind, you shouldn’t mow your grass at all during a drought. Likewise, summer lawn care shouldn’t occur while the yard is wet from dew, watering, or rainfall.
Keep Your Mower Maintained
Lawnmowers take quite the beating during the months of summer lawn care. In doing so, your mower’s blades may become too dull. Dull blades tear away at your grass rather than cleanly cut it. This not only causes your grass to look brown and damaged, but it hinders its regrowth. Plus, the damaged grass is more likely to become diseased making regrowth unlikely at all.
Avoid Excessive Maintenance
As your grass becomes dry or brown you may be quick to start trying to “heal” it. However, summer lawn care should not include fertilizer. Fertilizing encourages your lawn to grow, however, your grass is already competing for nutrients in the soil. Further growth just creates more competition which will make it even harder for the existing grass to thrive. Likewise, lawns also shouldn’t be aerated or dethatched. Lawns are especially fragile during the hot months and aggressive treatments can hinder their natural growth.
Dry lawns throughout the summer may seem to be screaming for help, but keep in mind, some of your “helpful” summer lawn care intentions may be doing more harm than good. Do your best to encourage your lawn’s natural growth with the right amount of water and consistent cuttings that only take off the top third of the blade.