You think you have stress? What about your lawn? The sun beats down on it. People walk all over it. It's thirsty, and weeds want to take over. Yes, it's rough out there in the yard. But you can take some easy steps to help your lawn cope with the stresses of summer. We suggest the following tips and tricks in order to maintain a healthy, intact lawn during the extreme heat of the summer.
Keep Your Mower Blade Sharp and High
Dull mower blades shred grass, so they lose more moisture than they would with a clean cut. Also, the shredded tips turn brown, making the lawn look dull. Most grass types prefer to be mowed high, so set your blade at one of the highest settings on your mower. Taller grass grows deeper roots, and deeper roots can reach moisture that's further down in the soil.
Fertilizing and Cultivation? Don't Even Think About It
Homeowners and landscape companies alike will do what it takes to keep their lawn healthy and growing right. Although the idea of fertilizing might sound like a good idea to maintain a vigorous lawn, do not consider it during the heat of mid-summer. During the hot summer months, the cool season grasses are consuming more than they can produce. Fertilizing stimulates more growth, which consumes even more energy further stressing lawns during periods of high temperatures.
The same rules apply to cultivation practices such as aerification and dethatching. Resist aggressive practices that impose temporary damage during periods of summer heat. Instead, cultivate in fall or spring when the turf is vigorous and can recover quickly from the temporary injury.
If You Water, Do It in the Morning
Morning, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., is the most efficient time to water your lawn. Less is lost to evaporation and your lawn has time to dry off before nightfall. Watering in the afternoon is throwing water away to evaporation. Watering at night invites disease. Half an inch twice a week or 1 inch a week should keep your lawn refreshed.
If your lawn is prone to heat stress, you might want to overseed it in the fall with a grass that's been bred to handle heat and drought. It's good to use a fertilizer designed for fall to give you a strong green lawn in spring. Please feel free to leave comments and your own tips below.