Summer is the best time of the year for hosting family BBQ events, buffeting with friends or throwing garden parties for your neighbors. With so many activities out there, summer lawn care may not be on top of your list of priorities.
If you want to maintain a beautiful and healthy lawn this summer, you should keep an eye from June to August to ensure that your favorite place for gathering stays green the whole summer through.
How Often to Water Your Lawn During the Summer Months
While some homeowners know what their lawn needs, most will find lawn-watering a great mystery. Yes, we all know we need to water our lawn so the sun doesn’t burn the grass but when exactly do we water? How deep should we water? How often can we water?
There is this general rule that lawns require 1-1.5 inches of water per week. You can check moisture penetration by probing the soil with a sharp object, a screwdriver, for example.
How often you water your lawn depends on where you live and what type of grass you have. If you want to give your soil just what it needs and conserve water, it will help you to familiarize yourself with the factors that impact irrigation frequency.
Different types of grass require different water’s amounts.
- Kentucky Bluegrass, for example, goes dormant during dry weather conditions and renews when rain resumes.
- Tall Fescue has a deep root and one of the highest drought tolerances of all cool-season grass types.
- Warm-season turfs like St.Augustinegrass, Zoysiagrass, Centipedegrass, and Bermudagrass thrive in hot summer days, developing deep root systems that make them able to face and withstand drought. It is good to know that warm-season grasses require 20% less water than Tall Fescue and other cool-season grass types.
Different types of soil take in and retain moisture differently.
Generally, there are three types of soil:
- Sandy: This soil type absorbs water quickly and requires less water but more frequently.
- Loam: This type of soil absorbs water smoothly and without drainage.
- Clay: This is the third soil type. It takes in water slowly and can eventually cause runoff when the water is added too quickly. It also holds water longer.
How Often to Mow Your Lawn in The Summer
The first thing you need to do is prevent your turf from getting stressed. How to do this?
When you first start mowing your lawn, take a couple of weeks to reduce the cutting height of the lawn mower. You should never cut more than ⅓ of the length of the grass blade.
Once you notice the grass is at the desired height, mow once a week to maintain that height. According to lawn care companies and lawn care experts, 1 inch or 2-3 cm is a good height for a summer lawn to stay fresh and green. This is the lowest setting available on the lawn mower.
In hot summer days, shorter grass may expose the turf and dry the soil out. In a situation like this, you should water your lawn more frequently or leave the grass to grow more. It is best to water your lawn early in the morning. That’s when the soil absorbs moisture before the sun has a chance to dry it all out.
Remember, hydration is crucial for the growth of the grass. The watering must be measured to ensure that you don’t over water your lawn and possible cause the turf to become infertile due to much water.
If you are planning on going away for a few days on holiday, it is best to mow your lawn as close as possible to your departure.
Summer Grass Fertilizer: Why It is Absolutely Necessary
Summer lawn fertilizer is a great way to ensure that your soil has all the nutrients it needs to grow and flourish.
A summer lawn treatment is one of the ways to ensure that your grass is in perfect condition. You have already done your work during the spring days (you’ve fertilized your grass) to give your soil the best start. During the hot, summer days, fertilizer will help your lawn healthy.
Once the temperature rises above 28 degrees Celsius, the turf will start struggling. When the temperatures rise and the rain fails to appear often, grass becomes brittle, the growth slows, and brown tends to be the color you see at the corners of your lawn.
Fertilization can protect your lawn from these horrible effects. However, you shouldn’t fertilize in the hottest days of summer. And remember, fertilizer without enough water may burn turf and damage your lawn.
You shouldn’t fertilize a dormant lawn either. Our suggestion is to apply fertilizer to high traffic areas. This will keep your lawn hydrated throughout the summer and strengthen grass blades helping them to recover from drought and heat.
If weeds are your enemies, you may consider adding post-emergent herbicide. These fertilizers are highly effective in destroying weeds without impacting (damaging) grass. If your turf is suffering from fungus, it is best to use a fungicide.
Applying fertilizer at the right time can save your grass from a painful death. If not applied properly, it can seriously harm your grass.
Apply with a spreader (don’t forget to consult with the manufacturers or lawn care service providers) so you don’t burn the turf with a strong dose. If you are not sure what your lawn needs from a fertilizer, it is best to have a soil test done.
When applied in the right way and, of course, in the right amounts, fertilizer can turn any struggling lawn into the most beautiful garden of the neighborhood.
If this seems to be more than you want to handle and manage, consider hiring a professional landscaper or fertilizing service. Putting your lawn in the hands of the experts might set your mind free and give you nothing less but to sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Grass Clippings: Why You Should Leave Them on Your Lawn
Fertilizer is what you would turn to if you want your grass to look green, fresh, and healthy.
Another way to improve the look of your lawn is to leave the grass clippings. It is just as easy and nutritious as applying fertilizer. Plus, this way is absolutely free.
When spread out, grass clippings release nitrogen which your lawn absorbs. It is important to do this properly as leaving grass clippings during wet weather can lead to serious diseases and can harm your turf.
How to best spread the grass clippings/cuttings?
One of the best ways is to rake up grass clippings, mow over them to chop them and then spread them over the entire lawn.
Also, there are special devices (mulching lawn mowers) that cut the grass finely before they release the clippings onto your lawn.
If you want such lawn mowers to do all the hard work for you, you can consult with your lawn care company and they will suggest the best lawn mower for you.
How to Deal with Weeds During June, July, and August
The summer is just around the corner and the temperatures in the daytime are starting to rise.
With the official arrival of summer, you may notice that many weeds are slowly starting to show themselves. We believe that a healthy lawn is the best cure to weed invasion, however, that doesn’t always go as planned.
Luckily, there are a few strategies:
- Determine the weed type that you are trying to get rid of or control
Turfgrass weeds can be divided into two categories when it comes to control options – broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds. Broadleaf weeds are easy to find and control. Some of the most popular broadleaf weeds to look for are prostrate knotweed, dandelions, ground ivy, broadleaf plantain, and white clover. Grassy weeds are quite challenging because their growth is similar to that of the turfgrass. Grassy weeds to look for during the summer months are smooth crabgrass, annual bluegrass, yellow nutsedge, and others.
- Evaluate best control options
There are two control options: chemical and cultural. Cultural control includes hand weeding and creating a proper environment for your turf. There are weeds known as indicators and some examples of this kind are a black medic, wild violet, ground ivy, and others. There are weeds that allow to be pulled by hand. The other option or herbicides is a more effective option. You have selective grassy weed herbicides, selective broadleaf herbicides, non-selective herbicides, and etc.
- Understand the indicator weed in your lawn
With proper fertilization, turfgrass types selection, and irrigation management, you will be able to create the best environment possible.
The basic requirements for lawn growth are water, air, nutrients, light, temperature, and space. Keeping these six requirements to optimum for your turf species will be your best protection system against weed invasion.
Investing an extra effort to create a beautiful and healthy lawn this summer has its own benefits. Enjoying a green yard and weed-free lawn are just some of them.
Repair Summer Lawn Damages: Great Tips to Keep in Mind
In the summer sun and high temperatures, your lawn can dry out and quickly discolor. If something like this happens, you will need to repair your lawn quickly.
Here are a few great tips to keep in mind:
Summer is not the ideal season to establish cool-season grasses because of the long day-length, high temperatures, weed competition, and disease pressure. The growing temperatures for this type of turfgrass (cool-season) are in the range from 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Long day-length as well as more hours of sun during the day results in drying the soil. Keeping that balance of soil moisture between too dry and too wet is more challenging during the hot summer days due to the drying period.
If you are still interested in establishing cool-season turfgrasses here is what you need to do:
- Rake over a specific exposed area to alleviate or loosen the soil
- Spread grass seeds (half the usual rate)
- Rake over one more time and water the lawn in
In 7-10 days, the seed will start sprouting.
Patch in Turf
Summer patch is a common lawn disease, active during the summer period when grass roots are growing slowly. This type of disease attacks root systems resulting in rotted and dark colored roots, as well as, crowns.
If you notice that your lawn is diseased or has a bald area, the best way to take care of it is by replacing the turf.
You can do that by cutting a section from an area where the grass won’t be missed or simply get new fresh turf.
- Use a spade to get rid of the dead section
- Scrape up the soil
- Cut the turfgrass to fit the area
- Press the section of turfgrass in and ensure the edges meet perfectly
- Press the sides in
- Water in using a watering can or a fine rose
Pay attention to mowing. While managing a lawn with patch disease, the mowing heights should be higher, especially during the recovery period. This allows a greater rooting depth, as well as, more soil volume from which roots can draw nutrients and moisture.
This is especially important during drought stress periods.
By following these steps, you will have green grass once again.
Grow a New Lawn
The summer period is not the best period to grow a new lawn, however, there are some things you can do to prepare for September/October sowing.
Using high-quality grass seed is important. Also, make sure to consider the growing conditions of your area – how much sun? How much wear will your lawn get from pets and children? Is the soil sandy?
For example, Bermudagrass is great for drought areas and tolerates a low mowing height, centipedegrass grows best in warm and sunny areas with acidic and sandy soil and it doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer.
If you need help choosing a grass type that is right for your lawn, get in touch with green lawn care companies near you.
Once you’ve selected the grass type it is time to grow a new lawn:
- Get rid of weeds by digging them up
- Use string to mark the new location of your lawn
- Dug over that area until the surface is smooth
The Bottom Line
The landscape of your yard should remain healthy and clean at all seasons and times, especially in the summer. High temperatures can easily destroy your turfgrass and will cause havoc to the soul if not maintained properly.
With the tips we mentioned above, it should be a lot easier to keep your beautiful lawn fresh and healthy – even during the hot summer months.
If it seems difficult to take care of all of this by yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. It is super affordable.
We, at Green Turf, think of your lawn as a breathing and living thing. It is not just your yard’s carpet and it certainly requires the same things we people need to survive – air, water, food, and good hygiene.
Give us a call at 484-452-3595 or contact us online today – and your favorite Pennsylvania lawn care professionals will be at your door in no time.