It’s that time of year again! The days have gotten longer and the weather is warming up. You may be tempted to put away your lawn mower for the season as we roll around the corner into fall, but don’t stop here!
Keeping your yard looking great takes a little effort, but it will save you from having to deal with an overgrown mess come fall. There are many ways to make sure that your grass is getting the nutrients it needs and staying lush during summer heat.
From watering often to fertilizing, there’s something that even the most novice homeowner can do to improve their lawn this summer! Read on for some tips to help you keep your yard looking great all summer long.
Summer Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy, Green Lawn
1. Cut the Grass to 3”
It’s no secret (if you’re the one mowing your lawn each week) that longer grass is harder to cut, right? However, cutting it down to the bottom of the blade isn’t a good idea either. In fact, when you cut your grass too short, it can put a strain on it while also leaving very little surface area for photosynthesis to occur.
So, our top summer lawn tip this year is to ensure that you’re leaving it to about 3” long. Some even recommend letting it grow to 3.5” (or the very longest that you can stand it without turning your lawn into an overgrown mess).
2. Mow in the Morning
Mowing in the morning during the summer is easier on you as it’s one of the coolest times of the day. However, it’s also pretty beneficial to your lawn as well. Between 6 to 10 am is a great time as the sun will likely already be rising yet the heat won’t be overwhelming.
The key is to mow after the dew has dried up and before temperatures start to really go up. This means that by the time you’re finished mowing, your summer lawn will have time to recover from the damage that mowing causes before the heat stresses it even further.
3. Use Weed Products to Control Weeds
While most summer lawn care tips recommend that you start preparing for summer in early spring, weed control is something you can leave until late summer (although, pay attention to any overgrown areas that need targeting year-round).
It’s best to work on controlling lawn weeds in the late summer as it helps prevent seed production that spurs the growth of new weeds the following spring. Find the right weed products for your type of grass and the weeds that grow in it.
Here is a helpful guide that goes more in-depth into how to effectively use nonselective postemergent herbicide such as glyphosate to combat annual weed growth.
4. Get Rid of Dead & Diseased Plants Immediately
This summer lawn care tip goes hand in hand with the one above. When you notice weeds during the summer, it’s best to attack them as soon as possible. Letting them spread can make it more difficult to get rid of them (but still be sure to take preventative measures come the end of the season).
When spring comes, be sure to get rid of dead leaves, branches, and plants that can be blocking the grass underneath from receiving the air and sunlight it needs to grow properly.
Then, during the summer months when grass should be thriving, be sure to get rid of any leftover dead and diseased plants immediately that could spread and damage other areas of your lawn.
5. Water Often & Fertilize Early
How often should you water your lawn during the summer? Your lawn should be receiving a total of about 1 to 1.5” of water per week during the summer, whether that’s from natural rainfall or your own irrigation efforts.
During the summer, we recommend that you water every other day. This means that you should, depending on the amount of rainfall your area gets, plan accordingly. If it doesn’t rain for a week, for example, prepare to water about .25” to .3” four times a week. If you’re watering and your lawn doesn’t seem to be responding, look for leaks in your pipes (which can possibly be repaired with an irrigation solvent cement) or broken sprinkler heads.
As for fertilizing, it’s best to fertilize early on in the summer. A fertilizer like Scotts Turf Builder will slowly release nutrients over time, making it ideal for summer lawns that need constant nutrients throughout the season.
Summer Lawn Care Matters Come Fall
You may be thinking that the warm weather will make your lawn care duties a little easier, but without proper water and upkeep, you’ll have a lot more to worry about come fall. Have you taken care of all these summer yard maintenance tasks?
Remember, it’s never too late in the season (or even early) to start caring for your lawn so it can thrive when winter hits.