Summer is all about maintaining your lawn’s health and appearance. Maintaining the best looking lawn during the heat of the summer is challenging. Not only do our lawns have to cope with the dry summer heat, our lawns have to also endure the increased foot traffic that usually evolves during the warm summer months.
While we don’t think of our lawns during the winter, they gain our full attention and require continual maintenance over the summer months. During the summer, we want our lawns to be healthy, exhibiting a vibrant green hue for our outdoor play and entertaining needs. Many homeowners try to fight nature’s heat, humidity and periods of drought by fertilizing, watering and forcing new growth out of our lawns no matter what the weather entails. However, it is important to understand and respect the seasonal changes that our grass plants experience.
By adhering to the following summer lawn stress remedies, you can rest assured that your lawn will be the healthiest it can be throughout the hot summer months.
Lawns require 3-4 centimeters of water each week in order to maintain a green colour and foster steady growth. More water is needed when the heat is severe. The amount of supplemental watering your lawn needs depends on the amount of rain water your lawn receives each week. Using a rain gauge, or something similar, is extremely helpful in tracking the amount of water your lawn receives from rainfall.
Grass plants slow their growth during the high summer temperatures. Some homeowners choose to let their lawns slip into a dormant state during the hot weather by not watering their lawns. A dormant lawn is brown, dry and unattractive. Nevertheless, it will green up when cooler weather and moisture returns. If your lawn goes into a dormant state during the summer, do not try to water it back to life. Allow it to remain dormant until the fall.
If you choose to continue watering throughout the summer, it is important that you commit to a watering schedule. Deep, infrequent watering is ideal because it encourages deep root growth, helping your lawn become more drought tolerant. Water your lawn in the early morning to minimize loss of water due to evaporation that will occur under a hot afternoon sun. Avoid evening watering to prevent potential turf diseases from developing. Lastly, always remember to check your local watering restrictions to be sure you are in compliance.
The hot summer weather is the most unforgiving time for improper mowing techniques. Below are tips that will help you follow proper mowing practices this summer:
Make sure your lawn needs to be mowed. During the summer heat, your lawn naturally slows down its growth. If your lawn has stopped growing, or if it looks brown and dry, do not mow.
Ensure that your lawn mower blade is sharp. Dull blades will tear your grass plants, giving them an unhealthy appearance, and will make them highly susceptible to lawn diseases.
Set your lawn mower to its highest cut setting. Longer grass plants will protect the root system from the strong summer sun. Also, low mowing in the summer heat puts your lawn at a greater risk of broadleaf weeds establishing themselves in your lawn.
Don’t mow your lawn during the hottest part of the day, or when your lawn is wet. Mow your lawn in the cooler morning hours, or in the early evening.
Fertilizing a dormant lawn is not recommended, unless the fertilizer is a high quality, slow release, granular fertilizer. An application of slow release granular fertilizer will not release nutrients, which encourage growth, until the conditions are ideal.
If your lawn is being properly maintained with correct watering and mowing practices, then a summer fertilizer application will benefit your lawn. However, because grass plants grow slowly during the summer months, they also feed less aggressively as well. If you are unsure of your lawn’s fertility needs, contact your local Weed Man professional. Weed Man will always ensure that you feed your lawn the right amount, using the right product, at the right time.
LAWN DISEASE REMEDY
Lawn diseases can occur at any time. However, the summer seems to always be the worst time of year for lawn disease challenges to occur. Many lawn disease issues are caused by environmental factors including, but not limited to: high humidity, low light conditions, poor air circulation, compacted soils, and radical temperatures shifts. Many of these factors are out of the homeowner’s control. However, there are a few things that you can do to make your lawn less susceptible to lawn diseases this summer.
Aerate your lawn at least once each year. Aeration reduces soil compaction, and encourages a steady flow of oxygen, water and nutrients to reach the grass plants. Aeration also helps establish strong healthy roots.
Prune low tree limbs and shrubs in order to increase light and air circulation for your grass plants.
Do not water your lawn in the evening. Water in the morning only.
Mow your lawn high, with a sharp blade, only when grass plants are actively growing.
Summer weather puts your lawn through quite a bit of stress. Growth will be slower, the vibrant green colour may fade, and your lawn may show signs of wear and tear as the summer months progress. Following the above summer lawn stress remedies will help you gently care for your lawn, and prevent significant lawn damage as the summer temperatures rise.