Summer can be one of the toughest times of the year for lawns, especially when we live in one of the warmer climates. While Summer is a time of thriving for many lawns, likewise it is also a time for less well looked after turf to suffer many different problems that can lead to stress and poor health. With a few simple lawn care practices we should be able to greatly improve all lawns as they navigate their way through the warmest months of the year.
Best Practice Lawn Watering
Watering is of course the most important aspect of turf health in Summer. Correct lawn watering practices will enable a lawn to send down roots much deeper into the soil profile, past the evaporation level of the very top of the soil, which as a result will make our turf more heat and drought tolerant.
We can slowly train our turf to create a deep root system by only ever watering the lawn once it’s showing signs of leaf wilt, and then giving the lawn a deep drink of water at that time. This is an easy method to grow a deep root system for all turf.
Fertilize Lawns In The Spring
A home lawn which is healthy before Summer arrives is a far better solution to achieve a healthy Summer lawn, than if we were to wait until Summer arrives and then trying to create a healthy lawn. The same is true of Winter lawn care.
Fertilization of turf should be done prior to the onset of the two harshest seasons, Summer and Winter. So we want to be sure we have fertilized with a high quality fertilizer prior to the onset of Summer so that the lawn is in its peak health as the heat arrives.
The Importance Of Correct Summer Lawn Mowing
Loss of moisture in soils is responsible for the majority of turf problems in the Summer. As already discussed, we can greatly improve this situation by watering correctly to promote deep root growth, but we can also help the soil further by reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation in the Summer sun.
While a strong healthy lawn growing in full sunlight can be cut short, for most lawns which are less than perfect, their greatest health benefit in Summer can come about by increasing the lawn mowing height. This increase in the length of the lawn leaf then shades and insulates the soil against further moisture loss, resulting in less heat stress for the lawn.
This same principle of insulating the soil against moisture loss can be further added upon by mulch mowing the lawn. Whereby the lawn cuttings are recycled back into the lawn, rather than being collected and thrown away. Recycling lawn clippings not only insulates the lawn soil against moisture loss, but they are an incredible source of nutrients to feed back to the lawn instead of relying on the expense and hassle of having to use so many lawn fertilizers.
Lawn Weed And Pest Control
Some treatments for lawn pests and weeds can be harsh on the lawn, especially those that are applied by the homeowner and not by a turf professional.
Avoid treating for weeds or pests using chemical pesticides on the hottest days of Summer, instead wait for milder days to do any such spraying, or better yet, try to treat for pests and weeds in Spring, before Summer arrives.