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Lawn Care During Dry Seasons

The summer is in full swing bringing its warmest days and showing off its brightest sun. This will typically give a welcomed boost to plant life and vegetation, providing extra resources for photosynthesis and by effect, a healthy lawn. However, this can often have an adverse effect when too much sun is received. The sun’s intensity can dry out and even burn your lawn without the proper preparation. To keep your lawn green and healthy all summer long, follow these steps to adequately nourish and maintain your lawn and landscape.

Preparation

While it may be too late now to prepare for the coming warmth and sunlight of summer, maintaining a year-round schedule of “preventative maintenance” will help your lawn stay strong and survive the more extreme months of summer or winter. For best results, carry out this maintenance plan early to mid-spring and early to mid-fall.

  • Aerate – Perforating the soil with an aerator will serve many functions. You’ll allow the soil to breathe which will help the roots to spread and grow, create deeper absorption of water to nourish and hydrate the lawn, and help seed to get deeper into the ground with less chance of running off when spreading for the coming season.

  • Seed – Once you’ve had a chance to aerate, spread new seed throughout your lawn. This will help fill in areas where grass has died and make for a thicker lawn, allowing more nutrients to be spread and retained overall. Be sure to water carefully once these new seeds are spread, as too much will actually wash the seed and your hard efforts away.

  • Fertilize – When the first preparations of aerating and seeding are completed and this new lawn has had ample time to take root and let its blades mature by a month or so, consider using a fertilizer. This will give your lawn a shock of nutrients to boost growth which will be needed coming off of the harsh winter months or scalding hot summers.

This, like the others preparation steps, is not to be done during the peak summer months as it will cause stress and high energy consumption on the already stressed plant life. Think of this like running a race: nourish and hydrate with smaller bites/sips during the race (peak heat) and eat more heavily to fill up with nutrition well before the race (early spring).

Warmer Months Lawn Care

As spring turns to summer, your lawn and overall landscape will likely flourish with the increased sunlight. In some areas, this will bring frequent rain and you may be tempted to think your entire lawn is on auto-pilot, requiring you to do nothing but sit back and enjoy your space. However, the increase in sun will eventually translate to very hot days ahead and you’ll need a plan to protect and provide for your lawn.

  • Water Early – Water your lawn early in the morning when the sun is not radiating as much UV and the heat is not at its peak. This will ensure that all the water you use will be absorbed by the grass and plants instead of evaporating as it would in the afternoon. Also, be careful not to overwater during these hot months. The grass will need to breathe and the rule of thumb is one inch of water per week for your lawn.

  • Raise Your Blades – Let your grass grow taller by raising the blades of your mower. The blades will be stronger with the increased energy from the sun and will cast more shade on the vital lower half of each blade of grass. This lower shade will keep the roots cool and help the soil to not evaporate or dry out as quickly.

  • Mulch Over Bag – Remove the bag from your mower and consult your lawn mower’s user guide to convert it to a mulching application. The yard trimmings are actually a great “micro-fertilizer” and will feed the soil over time.

Remember to water carefully and make the extra effort to do so early, while also raising the blades of your mower. The extra effort will help keep your lawn healthy and green to enjoy all summer long. And as the year goes on, put some of the “off-season” preparations to work. You’ll notice a strong change in the coming summer with an even healthier lawn.