It might feel like spring just started, but summer is quickly approaching. When summer comes around, most people are busy going to the pool, bathing in the sun, or having cookouts in their backyard. Warm weather is very enjoyable, but remember that the hot summer months can wreak havoc on your lawn. If you take the health of your lawn seriously, there is nothing worse than noticing large, unattractive brown spots on your yard. But tending to your lawn is no easy task. To keep your lawn healthy through the summer, you will need to put the necessary work into maintaining it. According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans on average spend nearly 70 hours a year tending to their lawns and gardens, mostly during the spring and summer months.
Summer lawn care is mostly about maintenance, while spring is the growing season. Cool-season grasses grow best when temperatures are in the 60’s, while warm-season grasses grow the most when temperatures are in the 70’s. But once temperatures get into the 80’s and above, grass growth will slow or possibly stop altogether. During the summer, your lawn will have trouble recovering from stress and foot traffic and may even go dormant until the weather cools off a bit. Your lawn’s health can suffer greatly during the summer months, but this doesn’t have to be the case. By understanding and appreciating how summer weather affects your lawn, you can take practical steps to protecting and maintaining it. Below, we will go over some lawn care tips everybody should follow this summer.
Water Your Lawn Properly
During the summer months, lawns should have at least one inch of water each week, and more during extreme heat waves. When it is not raining enough, you will need to water your lawn on your own using a sprinkler system. But simply watering it is not enough. To achieve the preferred results, you need to make sure that you follow the correct methods.
For the best outcomes, water your lawn early in the morning before 10 A.M., when the air temperature is lower and the sun isn’t as strong. Doing this will reduce evaporation and fungal growth. We recommend that you water your lawn 2-3 times each week instead of every day. Watering your lawn less frequently but thoroughly will give your grass the water it needs while helping the roots become drought-resistant. If you fail to do this, your lawn will likely die in certain areas and develop brown spots. If this happens, do not try to water it back to life. You will need to wait until the fall when the weather cools down a bit until the grass will recover.
Know When to Feed Your Lawn
Applying fertilizer to dormant areas of your lawn is a great way of reviving it, but only when weather permits. During the hot summer months, fertilizer can burn your lawn, and will likely only create weak grass that won’t be able to grow in the heat. You can use a bit of fertilizer in the summer if you are receiving a large amount of rain and your grass is still growing. But for best results, feed your lawn some fertilizer at least a month before summer temperatures kick in. Depending on where you live, this will either be in the spring or early summer months.
During the summer, it is important to avoid over-mowing your lawn. Many people cut their grass really short so that they are able to mow less frequently. But cutting grass too short will be disastrous for your lawn. We recommend mowing more frequently, and only cutting about 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. Keeping your grass longer will encourage root growth and prevent large grass clippings from suffocating your lawn.
Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp
Dull lawn mower blades tend to shred grass blades and negatively affect the quality of your cut. For better results keep your mower blades sharp. Sharp blades will produce a clean cut, and protect the health of your lawn. Most manufacturers recommend that blades be sharpened after about 10 hours of use, so make sure to check your mower blades regularly depending on how much you use them.
It is important to remove weeds in the summer before they bloom and spread their seeds. You can use post-emergent herbicides to target and kill weeds without damaging your grass. But keep in mind that during the summer, any product that you apply to your grass can be damaging when heat is excessive. Because of this, only apply products when temperatures remain below 85° F for a few days.
Manage Insect Infestations
Dormant and dry summer lawns are highly vulnerable to insect infestations. Fire ants, chinch bugs, cutworms, mosquitoes, and other insects are known to infest people’s lawns. While minor infestations usually go away on their own, more severe situations will call for immediate action. If you have extensive lawn damage from insects, use insecticide to rid yourself of the problem before it spreads. Grubs are another common lawn pest. If these critters have given you problems in the past, apply grub control around the middle of summer to mitigate any potential harms to your grass.
Mitigate Lawn Diseases
Fungal diseases like brown patch, dollar spot, red thread, and others often wreak havoc on lawns in the summer. To combat the fungal disease, apply fungicide if necessary. For the best results, avoid watering your grass in the evening to keep nighttime moisture low, and allow the fungicide to work its magic.
If you want to keep your lawn in top shape this summer, and are in need of the right supplies, Reliable Aftermarket Parts has you covered. We are a leading supplier and distributor of a wide variety of aftermarket agricultural and construction equipment parts, including lawn & garden, snow removal, tractor parts, and more. To search for available parts, check out our website, or give us a call at (888) 672-7876 for more information.