Keeping your grass green and lush during the summer months is an uphill battle. When the sun scorches it regularly, followed by low amounts of rain fall, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Instead of trying to coax new growth and wiping out all the weeds, moss and discolored grass, consider summer a time of maintenance.
Follow these tips for stress-free lawn management, enabling you to spend more time barbecuing, playing games and enjoying your yard.
When grass grows in compact soil, water evaporates more quickly. Aerating a few times in the summer helps. Water early in the morning to help with evaporation and deter fungal growth. Also, water slowly with either a sprinkler system or a hose with a sprinkler head attached. Lawns require one inch of water each week unless the heat becomes severe. Then they need more.
The first order of business is to have your mower blades sharpened so they actually cut the grass, not rip and shred it, which stresses your lawn. Then, raise your mower blades to about three inches or slightly higher, because taller grass tolerates drought better. Conversely, short grass helps moss to thrive. The grass also develops deeper roots when taller. Mowing regularly keeps the grass healthy and defends against weeds because they can’t get the light they need to germinate.
3. Mulch Grass Clippings
Spread your clippings back over the lawn to keep the moisture levels stable, add nutrients back into the soil, keep the soil temperature cooler and supply shade. You can even buy a lawn mower that lets the cuttings fall back onto the grass.
4. Dealing with Worn Spots
If your lawn is showing signs of high traffic in certain areas, think about placing stepping stones or pavers in those spots to decrease the damage.
5. Delay Fertilizing
This goes for reseeding, thatching and spraying weed killer, too. Late August through early September is the best time to proactively take care of your lawn and implement those practices. In the height of the summer, if you can mow regularly, water and mitigate the foot traffic, you’re doing great.
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