We all know that spring lawn care is all about getting your grass as green and healthy as possible. But what about summer lawn care? Keeping your lawn as healthy as it can be when the heat of summer is in full effect is the main goal of summer lawn care. To make it easier for you the good people here at Mutton Power Equipment have compiled a list of tips to help your lawn beat the summer heat.
Midwest Grass Selection. . .
As most of you probably know Mutton Power Equipment is located in the upper Midwest, so to help our local costumers we’ll start with tips about the types of grass that grow best in our area. In our area warm-season grasses simply put, will not work. These types of grass will grow green and lush during the heat of the summer, but come winter warm-season grasses are almost guarantee to die. This will leave your yard yellow and dried-up the following spring, ensuring a unwanted re-planting project. This is why these types of grass should only be used if you live in southern areas. If you live in our area of the northern Midwest always plant cool-season grass seed. Kentucky bluegrass, bent grasses, fescues, and ryegrasses are all examples of cool-season grasses that will work great in our area. These types will survive the winter and come back lush and green when the sun revives it in the spring. However in the heat of mid-summer your cool-season yard will need a little extra attention if you want to keep it green and healthy year round. If you follow our tips below, about how to treat your cool-season grass in the heat of summer, there is no doubt in our mind that your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood year round.
Mowing tips. . .
When mowing your cool-season grass in the summer resist the urge to cut the grass low, this might look good in the spring and fall but in the summer this will cause a lot of damage to your lawn. When you’re mowing in the summer it is best to put your mower on one of the highest settings, so that the grass stays a little bit longer than usual (keep grass at about 3″- 4″). This helps your lawn to shade itself. Which will help lock moister into your lawn, because if it’s shaded the water will have a harder time evaporating. The longer grass will also produce longer roots which will reach water that is deeper in the ground. Now, longer grass is going to grow faster which means more mowing, and some of you might not like the sound of this but it is very important to mow regularly. This will prevent you from cutting more than 1/3 of the grass at one time. Again do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass at a time to ensure that you have the healthiest grass and to prevent clippings from smothering your lawn. Also make sure your blades are as sharp as can be. You want to make sure you are cutting the grass not ripping it. This will help to minimize stress and disease during the hot temperatures. This is why it is very important to replace blades at the beginning of every mow season, and to sharpen them regularly throughout the season. With that in mind, if you live in the area stop by Mutton Power Equipment to replace or sharpen your blades for a very fair price, and if you follow these mowing tips your lawn will stay lush and green all summer long.
Watering tips. . .
Water is extremely important to the health of your lawn in the heat of the summer. So naturally, how and when you water plays a big role in how healthy your lawn will be during the hottest parts of the summer. A lot of people think that frequent watering is the key to a healthy lawn in the hottest months. Not only does this result in higher water bills, but it causes the grass to get used to the constant water and if you forget to water for even a day your grass is going to start browning. A good rule of thumb to follow would be to give your lawn about an inch of water a week, and during those super dry times about 2 inches. This will encourage drought-resistant roots, and help you save money on the water bill each month. It is important that you totally saturate the entire lawn when watering, a lot of people use tuna cans placed around their yard to make sure all parts of the lawn are getting at least one inch of water. Another thing to think about is what time of day are you going to water. If you water in the middle of the day the hot sun will cause most of the water to evaporate, resulting in a major waste and a brown lawn. If you water at night you will put your lawn at risk to fungus and disease, because this is when most fungus and disease are more active. So your best bet is to wake up early and get that lawn watered before work (5 a.m. is the ideal time), this will give the yard plenty of time to absorb the water before the sun has the chance to evaporate it and you’ll also avoid all the fungal problems.
Fertilizing tips. . .
As we’ve said before if you live in the Midwest chances are you have cool-season grass. With that said, there is no reason to fertilize cool-season grass during the summer. Fertilizing your cool-season lawn in the heat of summer can actually be very harmful to your lawn. This is because cool-season grasses are not suited to withstand extreme heat, and it will be under a lot of stress this time of year. Any fertilizers applied this time of year will not have much effect, and all of the excess nutrients in your lawn can be very damaging. These extra nutrients will usually collect in the thatch layer or in the topsoil which will allow the nitrogen to burn the leaves and roots of the lawn. If you feel that you must fertilize during the summer, organic fertilizers are naturally slow-release, and they are much less likely to burn your lawn (or pollute the environment) than chemical fertilizers. If you live in an area that doesn’t get the extreme heat in the summer, or if your having a relatively mild summer, then fertilizing can be continued. If this is the case then simply spread the fertilizer evenly from spring to fall and this will help boost your lawns resistance to the coming winter.