Summer means longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. While this is something that will be welcome to all of us, it might not be welcomed by your lawn. The additional heat produced by this combination can cause serious harm to your lawn if not properly accounted for. Here are some helpful tips, some does and don’ts to keep your lawn vibrant and green all summer long.
DO water your lawn regularly. Most lawns in the Midwest are cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue. These grasses naturally grow slowly and may even go dormant during the hottest parts of summer. Water lawns all summer to keep this from happening.
DON’T allows your lawn to turn brown and then try to water them back to a green condition because this depletes the energy reserves and stresses the plant.
DO water lawns deeply and infrequently, applying between 1″ and 1-1/2″ of water per application.
DON’T water your lawn every day, or too lightly. This will only encourage weed growth, not lawn growth.
DO water your lawn early in the day if possible. Local watering restrictions often apply in urban and suburban jurisdictions, so this might not be possible.
DON’T water your lawn at the warmest time of day. When you do this, much of the water evaporates right away, making the watering totally ineffective. Watering in the afternoon sun won’t harm your plants, but it also will not be effective.
DO inspect your yard regularly for indications of irregular texture and color. These could be signs that disease or pests are causing damage to your lawn.
DON’T wait for obvious damage before acting, because then it will be too late for your lawn to recover.
DO mow at heights of three inches or higher. If you aren’t sure what that is for your mower, simply set it as high as it will go. Lawns maintained at higher heights typically develop deeper roots and dry out more slowly than closely cropped lawns. As the weather gets hotter and drier, lawn growth will slow down substantially.
DON’T scalp your lawn. Short grass will be killed in the hot sun, and will also allow for weeds to flourish.
DON’T apply fertilizer, seeding, thatch control, weed killer and other lawn care products during the summer. Grass will go dormant in the heat and humidity, and won’t react well to the use of these chemicals or methods. It’s best to hold off until later in the season, such as late August through early September, when lawns break dormancy and become green again.
Following these does and don’ts for summer lawn maintenance should help to get you lawn through this fierce time of the year. Don’t fret if you have problems, though, as the fall will be coming around and it is a great time to work on getting your lawn to recover.