Keeping Your Lawn Healthy in Hot, Dry Weather

As the spring season progresses and summer approaches, there are some measures you can take to keep your grass looking its best. The dry climate and extreme heat of summer can change the condition of the grass quickly, so keeping these tips in mind can keep your lawn lush and green.

Watering the Grass

It may be necessary to water your lawn more often in the summer than you would during other parts of the year. About an inch of water each week will help to keep turf grass looking great. When you start watering the grass at this frequency, be consistent. However, if you can’t water regularly, it’s best to water less frequently with more water than to water the grass all the time on the surface of the lawn. It’s also best to water the grass in the morning since this is the coolest part of the day and will allow more water to get into the soil instead of evaporating because of the heat. If you water in the evening when the humidity is higher, you could make your grass susceptible to disease and fungus. Install a sprinkler system and schedule it to distribute water during the early part of the day.

Fertilizing the Lawn

A product that provides nutrients to the turf is necessary to keep grass healthy in the summer. This should be applied during the cool hours of the morning as well. A slow-release fertilizer is ideal since it provides nutrients consistently and keeps the grass from being stressed or damaged by the heat. Be sure to get a fertilizer with nitrogen and organic ingredients to ensure the grass is growing at a healthy rate, and potassium, so the roots of your lawn will be stronger and less prone to rot. Compost is another way to fertilize the lawn and provide it with the necessary amount of potassium.

Growing the Grass

During the summer, keeping the grass longer is best. This is because the grass blades will provide shade to the crown and keep the crown from burning in the summer weather. When you apply liquid solutions to the grass to make it longer in the summer, don’t put the product on the grass when the weather is above 85 degrees. This is the temperature that causes stress to most plants and adding chemicals can make the grass weaker. If you’re using a growing solution, apply it in the evening since the temperatures will be lower. Or, you can wait until the weather will be cooler in the summer, such as late July or August, so you can maintain a green lawn for the remainder of the season and keep the grass strong for autumn.

Keep Pests Away

There are several pests that can ruin your lawn in the summertime, so you’ll have to take special caution to keep them away. Japanese beetles are always a problem, since the adults can destroy your yard by eating blades of grass and more than 300 types of foliage; the younger beetles feed on the roots. If you see there are random brown patches in the grass or the grass has become so loose it pulls from the soil easily, you’ll need to get a grub killer. To avoid this problem in the future, get the grub killer and apply it during the spring and fall seasons to protect your yard once the weather starts warming up.

Disease Protection

As the summer progresses, you’ll probably have to shield the grass from diseases that get worse in the heat. Once you’ve gotten rid of pests or have found grub disease is not really the problem, you’ll likely have to treat your law for fungus. If you see gray or black dust on the blades, this is an indication of fungal disease in most cases and you may need a professional to come evaluate the grass for you so you can determine the best treatment. A topical fungicide that comes in a liquid can be applied to the lawn or you can use a granular fungicide, so you can quickly put the product on the soil. Be sure to choose a product that is safe for your lawn, as well as your ornamental plants and edible flowers and garden plants, so you can use the product on all parts of the lawn.

Seeding

It’s common to see some patches of sparse grass and bare spots on the lawn after you’ve revitalized the grass and gotten rid of any fungus and disease. To prepare your lawn for the summer, do your seeding in the fall and work with a lawn specialist to guarantee you get the right seeds for the type of soil you have. You should also have your soil evaluated to determine which seeding products are best for the sun and shade that your lawn receives, the type of soil you have, lawn foot traffic, and your grass maintenance habits.

Mulch

Once the new grass starts growing during the summer, you’ll need to add a layer of mulch to the lawn for protection. About two bales of mulch will take care of 1,000 square feet and you can remove the mulch straw a few weeks after germination. When you add a layer of clippings on your lawn, you can keep the soil moist and fertilize your grass. Just be sure not to apply too much mulch so you won’t have a thatch issue. Make sure the mulch is not too long or wet since this could suffocate the grass and lead to disease.

Grass Type

Finally, remember that different types of grass grow best in different climates. There are also cool-season and warm-season grasses. Work with a lawn specialist to determine the best grass for the climate you live in and the type of soil you have. If you want your lawn to remain lush all year, select varieties that will thrive in summer but won’t go dormant in cold weather. If you want to make sure your grass looks especially appealing in the summer, warm-season grasses that will thrive with minimal but consistent care are best.

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