Summer lawn care is an important part of your overall lawn care schedule. Proper care is vital to your lawn surviving the hot summer heat and the mid-summer drought. Mid-July to mid-August is the most stressful time for your lawn. A healthy lawn will persevere the stress of the summer. The following schedule will help your lawn perk up in the fall.
Raise the deck on the mower. You want to increase your mowing height by approximately ½ of an inch.
You want your lawn to be longer than in the spring or fall because of the potential for the mid-summer drought. The longer grass blades shade the grass and the plants maintain their health during the stressful summer heat and drought.
Continue to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow. I know it may be difficult to always adhere to the 1/3 rule. Always use your own judgment.
During the summer months you can decrease the frequency that you mow. Cut the lawn every 10 days instead of every 5 to 7 days.
During the summer months it is common for the grass not to grow as much as during the spring and fall months. This is especially true if there is a lack of rain.
Trimming and edging your lawn after you cut the grass gives your lawn that finished look. You should continue this practice during the summer months.
However, during the summer it is best for your lawn if you don't trim and edge after each time you mow. The edges of your lawn tend to dry out in the summer heat, becoming brittle. The edges of your lawn are the areas that are least likely to grow when your lawn becomes stressed from the summer heat.
Around July 4th is a good time for your second application of fertilizer. Mid-summer fertilizing is especially important for warm weather grasses. This is their prime growing period.
If you are having a dry spell, it is a good idea to water after you apply the fertilizer.
If you are applying a weed & feed, it is usually best to apply it in the morning hours when the dew is on the ground.
Always read the packaging before you apply any chemicals to your lawn.
Personal Note: I fertilize my own lawn according to the schedule I have shared with you. During the summer, if it doesn't rain, it can be expensive to water your lawn. Sometimes during a drought I do not water my lawn and in the fall it perks back up nicely because I fertilized my lawn appropriately.
If it doesn't rain on average ½ of an inch to an inch a week, you may have to supplement by using the sprinklers. When the grass needs watering it begins to turn a dull grayish color. The other sure sign that your grass is water deficient is to check your footprints after you walk through the grass. If the grass doesn't pop back you, it needs to be watered.
Remember, always water deeply. You want the grass plants to have deep roots, not shallow ones. Shallow rooted grass plants cannot withstand the heat and are prone to a drought.
Don't over water either and avoid run-off water.
Remember to check your city/towns laws for watering restrictions.
You can expect your water bill to be a little higher during the summer months. A lawn that is not properly watered invites weeds, disease and insects. You will be paying extra money to eliminate these types of lawn problems, so you may as well water. You will be paying one way or the other.
During the mid-summer if your lawn seems stressed and you can no longer continue to water due to the expense, it is a good time to deal with controlling those weeds. Adding weed control to your summer lawn care schedule is a good idea because it is a good time to spot spray those weeds. Those unwanted weeds won't be able to survive without water.
Summertime is also a good time to look for signs of insects. Typically during the summer the signs of insects are more prominent in that they have turned from the larvae stage to the adult stage and the insects are more noticeable.
Summer is also a good time to apply grub control. During the end of the summer, the second generation of these pesky creatures will appear.
Treat insect and grub problems as necessary. Always be sure you are using the correct product and read the packaging to be sure you apply the product appropriately.
Summer can be the most stressful time of year on your lawn due to the heat and potential lack of water. Following your own summer lawn care schedule is a worthwhile investment both in terms of your time and money. Proper summer lawn care will ensure your beautiful lawn thrives well into the fall months. It helps ward off weeds, disease and insects. Most important of all, following your summer lawn care schedule will give you a sense of accomplishment that you nurtured your lawn through the roughest time of year and it pulled through like a real trooper.