Summer Lawn Maintenance

Submitted on June 16, 2016

Spring is the season to get your lawn healthy and green. Summer is all about maintaining your lawn's health and appearance. Achieving the best lawn in the neighbourhood becomes a lot more difficult when the dry summer heat is upon us. Not only do our lawns have to endure the heat, they also have to withstand the many BBQs, lawn games, parties and significantly increased food traffic that the summer months encourage. Unlike winter, in the summer we are less forgiving. We want our lawns to be healthy and boast a vibrant green colour for all of our outdoor activities and events. Homeowners will always strive to fight nature's heat, humidity and drought by fertilizing, watering and encouraging new growth out of our lawns, despite weather conditions. With this being said, we all must understand, accept and respect the seasonal changes of our grass plants. By following these summer lawn maintenance guidelines you can expect to have a healthy lawn throughout the dog days of summer: WATERING

  • Lawns require 2.5-4 cm of water per week, more when the heat is severe, to maintain it's green colour and steady growth. Using a rain gauge, or something similar, you can track the amount of water your lawn receives from rainfall and you can supplement when needed.
  • Water in the early morning to reduce waste due to evaporation in the late morning/afternoon, and prevent lawn disease from standing water in the evening.
  • Watering during drought conditions, commit to a consistent watering schedule of deep and infrequent watering. Deep, infrequent watering will encourage deep, healthy root growth, making your lawn more drought tolerant.
  • Some homeowners allow their lawn to slip into a dormant state during the hot weather conditions that summer brings. A dormant lawn will appear brown and unattractive, however, it will green up again when the cooler weather and rain returns. If your lawn is in a dormant state DO NOT try to water it back to life. Let is stay dormant until the fall season.

MOWING

  • Proper mowing practices are always important, especially during the hot summer climate. Ensure that your lawn needs to be mowed. If you lawn has stopped growing, or looks dry and brown, stop mowing.
  • Ensure your mower blade is sharp. Dull mower blades will tear the grass plants, making your lawn look unhealthy, unattractive and will make it more vulnerable to turf disease.
  • Set your mower blade to the highest setting. Longer turf will protect the roots from the strength of the summer sun. Also, low mowing in the summer can help broadleaf weeds to take over your lawn. 
  • The best time to mow your lawn is during the cooler hours of the morning, or in the early evening. DO NOT mow your lawn during the hottest part of the day or when the lawn is wet. 

FERTILIZING 

  • It is not recommended that you fertilize a dormant lawn, UNLESS the product being applied is a slow-release; meaning it won't actually start to release and encourage growth until the right conditions are in place. If your lawn is consistently watered and maintained with proper mowing practices your summer fertilizer application will release faster. 
  • During the summer months your lawn will naturally grow slower and will feed less aggressively than in the spring or fall weather.
  • We strongly recommend that you contact your local Weed Man professional so they can help you determine the best fertilizer regime for your lawn.

TURF DISEASE

  • Although turf disease can occur at any time, the summer always seems to be the most challenging time of year.  Most factors are out of our control, such as temperature shifts and high humidity. However there are a few things you can do to make your lawn less vulnerable:
    • Incorporate aeration into your annual lawn care program to reduce soil compaction, increase air circulation and encourage adequate flow of water and nutrients to the grass plants. Aeration helps establish strong roots with helps your lawn better tolerate summer conditions.
    • Prune low tree and shrub limbs to increase light and air circulation to underlying grass plants.
    • Avoid evening watering. Standing water leaves your lawn extremely vulnerable to turn disease. Again, watering in the early morning is the best time to manage your turf's thirst, typically between 6:00 AM & 10:00 AM.
    • Mow high, with a sharp blade and only when your lawn is actively growing.

Summer does bring quite a bit of challenges to our turf plants. Our lawns will continually struggle a little during the warm summer months. Growth will be slower, colour may fade and your lawn may show signs of wear and tear as the plants begin to recover a lot slower from the summer stresses and increased foot traffic. Following these lawn care practices you can gently care for you lawn as the temperatures continue to rise. Always feel free to contact your local Weed Man lawn care professionals with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your lawn's health and care. Weed Man is your lawn's best friend.

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