With the weather warming up, it’s easy to get distracted from the real work that goes into keeping your lawn lush and green. In the dead heat of summer, sometimes it’s all you can manage to get out and mow once a week. But if the summer heat is truly punishing and you want your lawn to thrive, there are a few things you can do to keep things green and vibrant.
Identify the Big Stressors For Your Lawn
The three biggest factors that can negatively impact your lawn during the summer are extreme heat, dry weather/drought, and heavy foot traffic. Not all of these factors may affect your lawn – and there might even be different issues in different areas. Some spaces may have enough shade to avoid significant damage from the heat; others may be out of the way and not prone to playing children and lots of moving feet.
Weeds and bugs can also put some strain on your grass, but the best way to mitigate both of these issues is by keeping your grass happy and healthy. A strong, well-maintained lawn is fairly resistant to minor irritations. Regardless of which stressors play a role in your lawn’s health, knowing what damage you may have to work to counteract can be important to making sure your efforts are paying off.
There are a few things that you can do to maintain your lawn at an optimal level, regardless of stress factors. For example:
- Avoid walking on the grass. If you are trying to keep your grass healthy (or repair damage), it’s important to avoid walking on the grass as much as possible – especially when it’s dry! Wet grass is springy and tends to bounce back, but dry grass can get tamped down and damaged.
- Maintain your lawn mower’s blades. The blades of your lawn mower should always be kept sharp and fairly high. Most grass species thrive with slightly longer blades, so using a higher setting is preferred. On top of that, dull mower blades tend to shred grass rather than making clean cuts, which can result in brown tips and a dull looking lawn.
- Don’t overfeed in the summer. For the most part, a stressed-out lawn isn’t going to benefit from a lot of fertilization and reseeding. Once the heat of summer settles in, you can focus primarily on watering and trimming regularly.
- Water at the optimal time. Watering during the blazing heat of the afternoon isn’t going to benefit your lawn as much, because you’ll lose a lot of moisture to evaporation. Avoiding nighttime is a good idea too, since going too long without being able to dry out can cause disease and rot in your lawn. The best time to water is in the morning – before the day gets too hot, so the bulk of the added moisture can be absorbed and then the blades can dry out.