The dog days of summer are here and while most everyone enjoys the hot, dry days, your lawn does not. Following some mid-summer lawn care tips can help keep your grass green and happy.
Cool weather grass, which is prevalent throughout much of the country except most of the West Coast and south, does not tolerate summer heat. If you don’t water the lawn properly and mow it too short, the turf will brown out and could die off.
Bayer Advanced offers these mid-summer lawn care tips:
- Mow Higher
Grass should be cut higher during the summer. Set your mower at the highest or next to highest setting. Tall grass shades soil which helps retain moisture and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Never cut more than one-third of the grass at a time.
- Water properly
The lawn should be watered deeply once or twice a week if there is insufficient rain. Just wetting the grass frequently actually can do more harm because it causes the roots to grow closer to the surface to get at the moisture. Watering an inch once or twice a week will encourage roots to grow deeper – deeper roots lead to a healthier lawn. It’s best to water early in the morning.
- Limit Fertilizing
Since the growing of cool weather grass slows when it gets hot, it should not be fertilized during the summer. Fertilizer encourages spurts of growth and could stress and weaken the grass during hot weather. Spring and fall are the best times to fertilize. Warm season grasses, on the other hand, should be fertilized during the summer which is their prime growing season.
- Control Insects
Mid to late summer is grub season and left unchecked, these insects can decimate a lawn. June bugs, Japanese beetles and European chafers lay eggs in lawns in early to midsummer that hatch into grubs and eat the roots of grass. One of the telltale signs of grubs include patches of brown or dead grass that can be easily peeled up.
- Weed Control
Mid-summer is the time to apply weed control to kill existing weeds and prevent new ones from popping up. If you plan to overseed the lawn in the fall, do not use a pre-emergent control.
- Sharpen Mower Blade
A dull blade will tear grass, creating ragged, brown edges that can open the door for disease. Sharpen the blade regularly and keep a sharp spare on hand.
- Clean Up Pet Waste
Pet waste will burn the turf causing small, brown spots. Water the area after your pet urinates to dilute the acid that causes burning.
- Leave Clippings on Lawn
Consider using a mulching mower that will cut the grass into small clippings that can be left on the lawn. The clippings break down and release nitrogen – a natural fertilizer. You can leave clippings from a regular mower if the grass is cut at a proper height.
- Pickup Clutter
Remove lawn furniture and tools from the lawn. Heavy objects left on the lawn can damage the grass.
These mid-summer lawn care tips will help keep your yard looking its best during the hot, dry weather. Happy summer!