During these summer months, extreme temperatures can play havoc on lawns everywhere. Hot afternoons can be difficult for grasses, plants, bushes, and trees. There are several things that you can do to improve the healthiness of your yard during this sizzling time. Follow some simple steps to improve your lawn’s heartiness and growing cycles.
One easy transition that you can do during the summer months is to not cut your grass too short. Blades of grass that are trimmed too low have a difficult time producing the energy they need to thrive. In order to achieve an ideal level of cutting, simply raise the blades of your lawn mower up a degree or two and stay on that setting until later in the year when temperatures turn cooler.
Another adjustment that you can make to your lawn mower is to sharpen your mower’s blades so that they provide a clean, sharp cut for your grass. Dull blades tend to tear grass and not cut it evenly. Torn grass becomes brown on the tips and has a difficult time fighting off disease and stress. It is also beneficial to your grass if you leave grass clippings alone after a trim instead of bagging them. The clippings act as a natural fertilizer for the lawn as they decompose slowly over time.
The next thing that should be discussed is the amount of water that you give your lawn during the extreme heat of summertime. Ideally, a lawn should receive about one inch of water per week, including rainfall. Studies show that grass thrives more easily when it receives water less frequently, but for longer periods of time. When grass and roots are watered completely, then they develop healthier roots and are able to fight off any diseases easier. Many folks have a misconception that they should water more often in the summer, but your lawn will actually look better if you can follow the one-inch rule. It is ideal for your lawn to dry out completely between each watering. If grass does not have the opportunity to dry out between watering days, then the roots cannot get the oxygen they need and diseases begin to grow. In contrast, you may experience a few “focus spots” in your yard that dry out faster than other areas. If this is the case, then you may need to water those particular areas in between the mass watering of the whole lawn.
Another point to remember is that it is not a good practice to mow during a drought. There is no specific need to mow on a regular basis throughout the entire summer; especially if the rainfall has been sporadic or if you have not been able to water regularly. The best practice is to mow a day or two after a good rainfall or after irrigating the lawn. Ideally, the grass would be completely dry at this point.
One last important thing to remember is that you should not fertilize or aerate your grass during the summer months. Either one of these practices are too harsh on grass during periods of extreme heat. It is best to wait until fall or spring to aerate or fertilize your lawn. This is when grass is growing more vigorously and will be able to recover more quickly from such changes.
These simple steps of taking care of your lawn during the hot summer season will help provide you with a healthy, thriving yard. If you care for your lawn throughout the whole year and learn the best practices for each season, then you will have a yard that can tolerate any extreme situation more easily. A little maintenance throughout each season will make things easier when dealing with those extremes. A healthy-looking yard can be attractive for all.