Fixing your lawn is easiest to do in the spring or fall, but sometimes, your lawn is going to need maintenance in the summer as well. Many people move into new homes and need to improve lawn in the summer time and don’t realize there are many actions you can take to make your lawn lusher and greener, even in the summer.
- Water Lawn Correctly: Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that they must water their lawn heavily every day. Lawns often become soggy and grass roots become drowned when too much water is used on the lawn. Lawns need at least an inch of water per week during severe heat. Use a rain gauge to track how much precipitation has fallen so that you don’t over or under water your lawn. Rather than watering your lawn every day, you should water for a longer amount of time just 2-3 times per week to help develop drought resistant roots. Heat causes water to evaporate so watering early in the morning or after dusk is ideal. If your lawn is brown in the summer, the grass has already gone dormant and cannot be brought back. You will have to wait until the fall to start improving your lawn.
- Mow Your Lawn Correctly: Make sure to perform proper maintenance on your lawn mower before moving your lawn including changing the oil, spark plugs, and air filter. Ensure you are using fresh gas in the mower and that you are storing your gas correctly as well. During the summer, grass that is longer usually holds up better against drought so keeping the length at around 3 cm is optimal. Make sure your mower blades are sharp so that the grass is not being ripped from the ground and left to yellow and decay. You should also mulch the clippings to prevent lawn smothering.
- Don’t Fertilize: Fertilizing should only be done in the spring and fall. You should stop putting fertilizer on your lawn about a month before summer officially starts to prevent the fertilizer from burning the lawn. If your lawn has gone dormant and brown, adding fertilizer will not bring it back to life. Instead, wait until fall to fertilize and improve your lawn after the grass has started to green again. Organic fertilizers are naturally slow releasing such as compost. If you are working on your lawn in the very early summer or late spring, a natural fertilizer has much less chance of harming your lawn than chemical sprays.
- Stop Weeds: Weeds grow during the summer and seed and disperse just before fall. Stopping weeds from growing during the summer will prevent them for the next year. There are a few herbicides that control weeds without harming the turf grass. These chemicals usually need to be used during cooler times when the temperature hasn’t reached 85 or more degrees Fahrenheit for several days in a row. There are organic ways of stopping weeds from growing as well such as vinegar and detergent solutions, pulling them out the old-fashioned way, and laying down a layer of cornmeal after the weeds are gone to prevent regrowth.
- Prevent Insect Infestations: One big problem that home owners face in the summer is yard bug infestations. When lawns have gone dormant they are more susceptible to insect infestations such as mosquitoes and worms. If you are finding a lot of grubs hatching in your lawn grub control can be spread around the lawn. There are many products available at lawn and garden retailers that offer chemical and organic solutions for insect and grub control in your lawn.
- Prevent Lawn Diseases: Fungal diseases can spread throughout your lawn in the summer. There are many ways to fight fungus in your lawn including monitoring the lawn pH levels. Dethatching your lawn and aerating will also help to prevent fungal growth and diseases. Water your lawn in the morning so that the water can penetrate the soil but then dry as the sun comes up higher in the sky. Keeping your lawn well-watered but dry will prevent fungus from growing. If you have a fungal disease in your lawn you should remove the clippings and make sure not to compost them. Fungal diseases can infect compost and spread through the lawn quickly when you fertilize.
There isn’t much you can do to completely turn around a lawn in the height of summer if you live somewhere with temperature over 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months. If you follow the above tips however, you can prevent further harm to your lawn and stop come problems that come with a dormant lawn such as insect infestations or fungal diseases.