The Do's and Don'ts of Summer Lawn Care

The Do's and Don'ts of Summer Lawn Care

Summer is a time for outdoor fun, BBQs, and spending time with family and friends. A beautiful, green lawn can make your summer activities even more enjoyable. But taking care of your lawn during the hot summer months can be tricky.

Don’t worry! With the right tips, you can keep your lawn healthy and green all summer long. Here are some important do’s and don’ts for summer lawn care.

Water Your Lawn Properly

Watering your lawn is essential, especially during the summer when the weather is hot and dry. Here are some tips for watering your lawn the right way:

Water Early in the Morning—The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning, around 6 to 10 a.m. This way, the water can soak into the soil before the sun gets too hot and evaporates it.

Water Deeply and Infrequently—Instead of watering your lawn a little bit every day, water it deeply once or twice a week. This helps the roots grow deeper into the soil, making your lawn more drought-resistant.

Use a Sprinkler or Soaker Hose—Sprinklers and soaker hoses distribute water evenly across your lawn. This ensures that all areas of your lawn get the moisture they need.

Overwater Your Lawn

While it’s important to keep your lawn hydrated, too much water can cause problems. Here’s what you should avoid:

Watering Every Day—Overwatering can lead to shallow roots and make your lawn more susceptible to drought and disease.

Watering at Night—Watering at night can leave your lawn wet for too long, which can encourage the growth of fungus and other diseases.

Ignoring Rainfall—If it rains, you may not need to water your lawn for a few days. Always check the weather forecast and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

 


 Photo by: Yates

Mow Your Lawn Correctly

Mowing is an important part of lawn care, but it’s essential to do it right:

Mow Regularly—Regular mowing keeps your lawn healthy and looking neat. Aim to mow your lawn once a week during the summer.

Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp—Dull mower blades can tear the grass, causing it to turn brown and making it more susceptible to disease.

Mow at the Right Height—During the summer, it’s best to keep your grass a bit longer. Set your mower to cut the grass to a height of about 3 inches. This helps shade the soil, keeping it cooler and reducing water evaporation.

Cutting Your Grass Too Short

Cutting your grass too short can cause a lot of problems:

Scalping Your Lawn—Scalping is when you cut your grass too short, which can stress the grass and make it more vulnerable to weeds and diseases.

Mowing When the Grass is Wet—Wet grass can clump together and clog your mower. It can also lead to uneven cutting.

Remove More than One-Third of the Grass Height at a Time—Cutting off too much grass at once can shock your lawn and weaken the grass.


Photo by: PowerPro Equipment

Fertilize Your Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn provides it with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and green. Here’s how to do it right:

Use a Slow-Release Fertilizer—Slow-release fertilizers provide nutrients over time, which helps your lawn grow steadily and reduces the risk of burning the grass.

Follow the Instructions—Always read and follow the instructions on the fertilizer package. Using too much fertilizer can harm your lawn.

Water Your Lawn After Fertilizing—Watering helps the fertilizer soak into the soil and reach the roots of the grass.

Over-Fertilizing

Using too much fertilizer can do more harm than good:

Applying Fertilizer During a Drought—Fertilizing during a drought can stress your lawn and cause more damage.

Fertilizing in the Heat of the Day—Applying fertilizer when it’s very hot can burn the grass. It’s best to fertilize in the early morning or late afternoon.

Forgetting to Test Your Soil—A soil test can help you determine what nutrients your lawn needs, so you can choose the right fertilizer.


Photo by: Limbwalker

Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating your lawn involves making small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. Here’s why it’s important:

Aerate if Your Lawn is Compacted—If your soil is hard and compacted, aerating can help improve its structure and allow the roots to grow deeper.

Aerate in the Early Summer—The best time to aerate is in the early summer when the grass is actively growing.

Use a Core Aerator—A core aerator removes small plugs of soil, which helps to reduce compaction and improve water and nutrient absorption.


Photo by: ProMow

Neglecting Thatch Control

Thatch is a layer of dead grass and roots that can build up on your lawn. While a little thatch is normal, too much can be harmful:

Ignoring Thick Thatch—If the thatch layer is more than half an inch thick, it can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil.

Dethatching at the Wrong Time—The best time to dethatch is in the late spring or early summer when the grass is actively growing.

Forgetting to Clean Up—After dethatching, make sure to remove the debris from your lawn to keep it looking neat and tidy.


Photo by: Turf Masters

Control the Weeds

Weeds can compete with your grass for water and nutrients. Keeping them under control is essential for a healthy lawn:

Use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide—Pre-emergent herbicides can help prevent weeds from germinating. Apply them in the early summer to keep weeds at bay.

Pull the Weeds by Hand—For small areas or isolated weeds, pulling them by hand can be effective. Make sure to remove the entire root to prevent regrowth.

Mow High to Discourage Weeds—Keeping your grass a bit longer can help shade the soil and prevent weed seeds from germinating.


Photo by: Weed-A-Way

Using Harsh Chemicals

Using harsh chemicals can harm your lawn and the environment:

Overusing Herbicides—Overusing herbicides can damage your grass and pollute the environment. Use them sparingly and only when necessary.

Using Chemicals Near Water Sources—Chemicals can runoff into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes, causing pollution and harming wildlife.

Forgetting to Read the Label—Always read and follow the instructions on any lawn care products to ensure safe and effective use.


 Photo by: Gardening Know How

Mulch Your Lawn

Mulching can help keep your lawn healthy and conserve moisture:

Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn—Grass clippings can act as natural mulch, returning nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

Use a Mulching Mower—Mulching mowers chop grass clippings into fine pieces, which decompose quickly and help feed your lawn.

Apply a Thin Layer of Mulch—If you use other types of mulch, such as wood chips or straw, apply a thin layer to help retain moisture and reduce weeds.


Photo by: Today’s Homeowner

Forgetting About Pests

Pests can cause significant damage to your lawn if not controlled:

Ignore Signs of Pests—Look for signs of pests, such as brown patches, holes, or chewed grass blades. Address any pest problems promptly to prevent further damage.

Using too Many Pesticides—Overusing pesticides can harm beneficial insects and the environment. Use them sparingly and only when necessary.

Forgetting About Natural Predators—Encourage natural predators, such as birds and beneficial insects, to help keep pest populations under control.

Summer Lawn Care

Taking care of your lawn during the summer can be challenging, but by following these do’s and don’ts, you can keep your lawn healthy and beautiful all season long. Remember to water properly, mow correctly, fertilize carefully, and control weeds and pests. With a little effort and the right approach, you can enjoy a lush, green lawn that’s perfect for all your summer activities. Happy gardening!


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