When temperatures go from warm to blistering, brown lawns become a common sight. Don’t let your lawn wither in the heat. These quick tips will help your grass survive the summer.
Raise Your Mower Height
Blazing sun and dry conditions stress out even the most robust turf grasses. The more stressed your lawn is, the more likely it is to wilt and brown. Eliminating any source of stress you can, like severe mowing habits, can give your grass some relief.
Set your mower height to a minimum of 3.5 inches, and consider going a little higher for cool-season grasses. Staying on the long side helps grass manufacture food and encourages strong root growth.
Hold the Fertilizer
Most grasses have an ideal growing temperature between 55 and 85 degrees, especially cool-season varieties. When the mercury climbs to summer highs, grass often goes dormant to conserve its resources.
Dormant grasses don’t grow. Any fertilizer you put down is feeding weeds and disease instead of your lawn. Tuck your fertilizers away until fall.
If you normally water your lawn during the day, you’d be surprised how much water you’re wasting. Hot summer sun will evaporate water from your sprinklers before it has the chance to soak into the ground.
Switch to morning waterings. Between 5:00 AM and 9:00 AM is ideal. If you don’t have a professionally installed irrigation system, you can still automate the process. Invest in a hose splitter so you can set up multiple sprinklers for even distribution and a hose-mounted sprinkler timer to set your schedule.
Watch For Design of Disease
Stressed grass is more susceptible to disease, and certain malevolent fungi are more plentiful in the summer months. Brown patch is a common and devastating attacker. It announces its pretense as splotches of dead grass that takes on a dark, smokey edge in the morning
Brown patch likes to attack lawns that are frequently treated with fast-release fertilizers. At the first sign of disease, cut off all fertilizers and start mowing less frequently to let your grass recover. You may need to overseed affected areas in the fall.
If your grass seems to wilt no matter what you do, you may need to change up your grass type. Mix some warm-season grasses into your fall overseeding. You’ll have an easier time keeping your lawn healthy next year.