Summer Lawn Care Tips
Last updated: 5/24/21
Estimated read time: 4.5 minutes
Summer is supposed to be a time to enjoy warm weather and outdoor activities with friends and family. However, some homeowners find themselves spending countless hours outside trying to maintain a healthy lawn. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Why is the Summer So Hard On Grass?
Summer is the most stressful time of year for your lawn and landscape. It is very common, especially with a lack of rain, to see noticeable deterioration in your lawn toward the end of summer. The hot weather with limited rain is the perfect condition for drought stress, insect and disease issues. As water becomes limited and the temperatures soar, your lawn will give off signs that it is in distress. Learn to spot the warning signs so you can alter your lawn maintenance schedule to help to avoid drought stress and keep your lawn healthy and green.
Signs of Drought Stress
- Dry soil - You can check to see if your soil is dry and lacking water by using a screwdriver. Simply push it into your lawn...you should be able to easily stick it 6 to 8 inches into your soil.
- Footprints or mower lines left behind - If you walk or drive on your lawn and notice footprints or mower tracks, your lawn is lacking in water. Healthy lawns will spring back, but drought-stressed lawns will not. This is often the first sign of drought stress before your lawn will start to brown.
- Changes in color - Not all grass will turn brown right away...you may notice a blueish-gray color before. This is the beginning stage of drought stress.
- Crunching when you walk on your lawn
- Patchy brown areas
Watering your lawn is an important part of lawn care. You should water your lawn in the wee hours of the morning and avoid over-watering. Your entire lawn needs at least an inch of water each week for optimum growth and health.
Here are some more tips for watering your lawn:
- Water early in the mornings 2-3 times per week for approximately 45 minutes per area.
- Avoid watering at night. During hot and humid conditions this can increase the chances of disease in your lawn.
- You do more harm to your lawn by watering on and off than by not watering at all, so make sure you have a consistent watering schedule.
- Tip: To get a precise estimate for how long you should leave the water running, lay empty tuna cans on your lawn, run your sprinklers, and time how long it takes until there’s an inch of water in the cans.
Shorter grass doesn’t mean healthier grass. Your grass shouldn’t be cut too short; taller grass actually helps to keep the soil healthier. Allowing your grass to grow just a little bit higher lets the grass get more light during peak sun hours and allows the plant to convert this light into more nutrients for the roots and surrounding soil.
Here are some best practices for mowing the lawn:
- Avoid mowing your lawn when it's wet.
- Set your mower blades to 3 ½ to 4 ½ inches. One of the most common mistakes a homeowner can make is mowing the lawn too short.
- Mow your lawn often to avoid removing more than ⅓ of the grass height each time.
- Maintain sharp mower blades to avoid shredding your grass instead of cutting it. We recommend sharpening your blades every 3 to 6 mowings.
- Try not to cut your grass during the heat of the day. This can dehydrate your lawn causing it to turn brown
- Don’t let grass clippings go to waste. Leave the clippings on the lawn to provide extra moisture and shade. Just do not allow them to bunch together as it can suffocate the grass underneath.
Controlling weeds is an important aspect of effective lawn care in Maryland. Weeds are a nuisance, and you have to put forth a conscious effort to monitor your lawn for these problem plants. Weeds should be removed as quickly as possible before they get the chance to really take root. Learn about common weeds in Maryland and how to get rid of them.
The Purpose of Core Aeration and Seeding
Aeration and seeding will help reduce thatch, helping your lawn to absorb nutrients and water. Aerating your lawn will also create optimal conditions for seed germination, which is why we recommend overseeding immediately after. New roots are able to reach deep down into the soil and establish a strong root system. This is one of the most effective practices to revitalize your lawn after a long hot summer. Learn about the benefits of aeration and seeding.
Maintaining a lawn can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re busy working and living your life. Blades of Green is available to assist you with all your Maryland lawn care needs. Our regular lawn care services can keep your lawn looking its best, all summer long! Call us today at 410-346-3451 to get in touch.