Hot Summer Lawn Care

Published on: July 6, 2012

Summertime lawn maintenance and care can be a challenge, especially this year with most of the country seeing record breaking temperatures already this year and no relief in sight.  The hot weather not only keeps your air conditioning system running overtime, but it also puts a lot of stress on your lawn, especially for northern cool season grasses.  Even further south, a lack of rain coupled with extended hot conditions can stress a lawn. The natural reaction is to increase watering, but this can cause the lawn to become susceptible to disease.

To help a northern lawn get through the summer heat, avoid mowing during hot, dry conditions.  Just let it go until the weather cools off for a few days.  Cut the lawn during the break in the weather, but set your mowing height up to about three inches.

During hot weather, try to keep as much traffic off the lawn as possible and don’t fertilize the lawn or apply weed control until the weather has cooled off and the lawn has recovered.  Also, plan your de-thatching or aerating for fall and spring to avoid stressing the lawn when it is most susceptible.

When watering, the rule is to water deep and infrequently.  A deep watering once or twice a week is much better than frequent shallow waterings.  Shallow watering is inefficient, wastes water, and promotes shallow root growth which will cause the lawn to die at the first sign of a watering restriction.  Watering in the early morning can help reduce water loss due to evaporation.

If you have a southern lawn like bermudagrass or zoysia, your lawn thrives in warm weather.  Keep it cut low, water prudently, and feed it lightly and it should stay lush and green all summer.

Hot summer weather places a lot of stress on most lawns.  This is the ideal time for diseases to move in and establish themselves.  By avoiding adding any stress to the lawn and following prudent watering practices you can help your lawn fight off disease.  Keep a close eye on the lawn and call your landscaper or lawn care professional at the first sign of disease.

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