Summer heat and your lawn

As you well know, hot, dry days are just an inescapable part of summer. Many lawns seem to bake in the heat. But, look around and you'll see one or two in the neighborhood that look as green as can be. You can help your lawn look just as great in the heat if you do 4 things:

  1. Feed your lawn! - Within 6-8 weeks of feeding, microbes in the soil have processed most of the nutrients for your lawn to absorb. You need to replenish these nutrients with another feeding. A well-fed lawn grows in thick, crowding out weeds and cooling the soil, which helps it handle the heat. if your lawn has gone dormant, hold off on feeding until rain revives it.

  2. Mow Higher - If you cut your grass short, you're short-changing your lawn. Longer grass allows the growth of longer roots, which can reach down for moisture even on hot, dry days. Just set your mower on one of the highest settings. You'll be surprised what a difference this simple step can make.

  3. Water - If your grass has been cut short all season, you're going to have to water more frequently. But even longer grass needs moisture. So if you choose to water during a dry spell, be sure to water deeply and infrequently. Frequent, shallow watering encourages grass to grow short roots, causing the grass to stress out during droughts. An inch of water a week serves as a good rule of thumb for keeping your lawn green during the hot summer. Just be sure to water as early as possible in the morning, between 6AM and 10AM, to help reduce wasteful evaporation.

  4. Renos and re-seeding - Older lawns may have grass varieties that just can't handle the heat. The grass may grow in bunches or have thick, ugly blades. Also, a hot summer can leave bare spots and thin areas around the lawn. New grass varieties have been developed to be able to handle scorching heat and still look good. The best time to reseed lawns is in the fall or early spring when conditions are optimal for grass growth.