When the mercury starts to climb, the heat is definitely on for your lawn. Keeping your yard healthy and green through the warmest summer months takes dedication and hard work, and a little bit of specialized knowledge.
Watering Your Lawn in the Summer
Watering may seem straightforward but there’s definitely a trick to how, when, and how much to water your lawn. Grass and other plants undergo a process known as evapotranspiration (ET), which is a fancy word for the total amount of moisture it loses through the air and through evaporation from the soil. This process varies depending on soil conditions, temperature, humidity, rain, and wind. The amount of moisture lost typically spikes in July, but this varies from year to year and place to place. Your local division of water resources may provide a lawn watering calculation tool. Overwater and you will encourage fungus and require excessive mowing. Underwater and you can stress your lawn, opening the door to pervasive weeds and pests. Watering should be deep and infrequent, and done early in the day when evaporation rates are lowest.
Summer Lawn Fertilizing
As with water, more is not better when it comes to fertilizing. Over-fertilizing can result in overgrowth and make your lawn susceptible to disease. If you over-fertilize and overwater, you can even cause runoff that contaminates the water supply. Type and frequency of fertilization depends on your grass variety, soil type, and microclimate. Choosing the best type of summer fertilizer for your lawn can be confusing. Lawn care professionals will know the best fertilizer for your lawn.
How Often Should You Mow in the Summer
If your lawn is shorter than your carpet, you are mowing too much and/or too short! Mowing the lawn is not only hot and miserable during the summer, it can actually damage your lawn, waste water, and pollute the environment. Raise your mower height .5” or 1” above your spring setting (3” height is ideal), and allow the grass to grow a little longer. It will shade itself, reducing the need for water and slowing growth. Never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade in any one mowing session.
If all this sounds like a bit too much work, consider engaging a professional lawn care service. They will know the magic combination of water, food, and care to keep your lawn green and vibrant all summer long. And all you will have to do is kick back and enjoy it!