As we move through the peak dog days of summer, it's crucial to take extra care of your lawn to ensure it stays healthy and vibrant. The scorching sun, high temperatures, and lack of rainfall during these periods can quickly damage your grass if not properly maintained. To help you combat challenges during a heat wave and keep your lawn looking its best, we've compiled some essential tips to guide you through the process.
1. Water Efficiently and Timely
Watering your lawn efficiently and at the right time is crucial during a heat wave. Water your lawn early in the morning when temperatures are lower and evaporation is minimal. It's best to water your lawn deeply but infrequently, which promotes deep root growth and makes the grass more resilient to heat stress. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to other issues like fungus and root rot. For more detailed information about watering, be sure to check out our blog post 8 Effective Watering Strategies to Maximize Your Lawn's Health.
2. Don’t Bag Your Clippings
Mulching your grass clippings instead of bagging helps retain soil moisture and protects the roots from extreme heat. As the clippings break down, they will also enrich the soil with valuable nutrients. It is important not to leave the clippings matted atop the grass, as this will suffocate the lawn and lead to injury or death. If you find your clippings are matting and aren’t blending into your lawn, double-pass back over the turf with your mower to re-mulch the clippings and further disperse them. Pro tip: double-passing is an effective way to get more vibrant lines.
Mowing tall or wet grass increases the need to double-pass when mowing.
3. Adjust Mowing Heights
During hot weather, raise the cutting height of your lawnmower above the normally recommended 3-3.5 inches. Longer grass shades the soil, conserves moisture, and encourages deeper root growth. Taller grass also withstands drought and heat stress better than shorter grass, which can quickly dry out and turn brown.
4. Avoid Mowing and Foot Traffic
When a heat wave strikes, it's best to avoid mowing altogether, especially during the hottest part of the day. Mowing and foot traffic stress the grass, and when combined with scorching temperatures, can lead to permanent damage. If you must mow your lawn, opt for early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler. Mowing or walking on your lawn when temperatures are in the high 80s and into the 90s can leave tire marks and footprints on your lawn, respectively.
Immediate and repeated watering with close monitoring can salvage the affected turf, depending on the intensity of the damage.
5. Aerate Your Lawn
Periodic lawn aeration helps improve water absorption and promotes better root growth. Aerating your lawn once a year in the fall will help enhance its resilience during extreme weather conditions. The benefits of aerating can be further combined with overseeding, which will thicken and beautify a lawn while also providing more shade for the soil. To add either service to a Mainely Grass account, please speak with an Account Manager.
6. Be Mindful of Fertilizer Use
Quick-release fertilizers, especially liquids, can have negative effects on your lawn during extreme heat. This is because they cause the grass to grow more rapidly, increasing its water needs, while simultaneously the high concentrations of fertilizer salts will draw moisture from the grass, causing the plant to yellow, wilt, or die. At Mainely Grass, our granular Speciality Fertilizers use a premium, controlled-release technology that eliminates this danger.
Fertilizing in the summer with a cheap or inappropriate type of fertilizer can cause serious, adverse effects.
Maintaining your lawn during the summer heat is essential to keep it healthy and vibrant. By following these tips you can ensure that your lawn remains resilient and beautiful even in extreme weather conditions. Let’s beat the heat and keep your lawn in top shape this summer!