Ah, summer—the time of picnics, pool parties, and enjoying the great outdoors. Your lawn becomes the backdrop for many memorable moments during the sunny season. But with high temps and extreme weather this year, keeping that backdrop lush and beautiful is trickier than ever.
Our first recommendation is to click over to this article we wrote recently that outlines 7 common lawncare mistakes to avoid. When you know what NOT to do, you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of most New Jersey homeowners.
And now, let’s focus on what you SHOULD be doing. Ready?
1. Watering Wisely: Quenching Your Lawn’s Thirst
Your lawn’s water needs increase during the summer heat. No surprise there.
We recommend watering deeply and infrequently to encourage strong root growth. Avoid shallow, frequent watering, as it can lead to shallow root systems and weaker grass. You also should try early morning watering since it reduces evaporation and prevents fungal diseases. Trust us; your lawn will appreciate this refreshing routine!
2. Mow Your Grass At the Right Height for Summertime Heat
It can be so tempting to drop that deck and give your grass a serious cut, but it actually does more harm than good. Taller grass shades the soil, helping it retain moisture and reducing weed growth. Don’t skip regular mows, but remember the “one-third rule”: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at once. A well-trimmed lawn is a happy lawn!
3. Help Your Lawn Deal with Heat Stress
Stress can get the best of us at times, your grass included. Keep an eye out for signs of heat stress specifically, like wilting or discoloration. You might even want to consider using shade structures or planting trees strategically to provide relief to heat-sensitive areas. Your lawn will thank you.
4. Managing Weeds and Pests: Declare War on Unwanted Visitors
Pesky weeds and pests love to crash your lawn party! Regularly inspect for any signs of trouble, then apply targeted treatments and consider using natural remedies whenever possible.
Also, healthy, well-fed lawns have a better defense against these unwelcome guests, and it all starts with the right nutrition. Feed it with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to encourage steady growth and strong roots.
5. Aeration and Dethatching Can Keep Your Grass Healthier This Summer
Over time, the soil can become compacted due to heavy foot traffic, lawn machinery, or simply the natural settling of the earth. This compaction restricts the flow of essential elements like air, water, and nutrients, starving the grassroots of much-needed sustenance.
Aeration is like giving your lawn a breath of fresh air. The process involves perforating the soil with small holes, allowing oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep down to the grassroots. This promotes robust root growth and ensures your lawn remains lush and healthy.
So, how about thatch?
Thatch is a layer of dead grass, roots, and other organic matter that accumulates on the soil surface over time. A thin layer of thatch can be beneficial, acting as a natural insulator, but when it becomes too thick, it can create a barrier, preventing essential elements from reaching the soil and roots.
6. Choosing the Right Grass Types: Summer Suitability
Just like some people handle the heat better than others, different grass types have their summer preferences too. If you’re planting new grass and have the opportunity to choose the variety, it can be smart to go for drought-resistant types that can withstand the heat and conserve water.
7. Protecting Your Lawn During Summer Activities: Playing it Safe
At risk of sounding like the cranky guy next door from when you were a kid, it really is a good idea to stay off the grass. Well, not completely. We’d recommend installing pavers or stepping stones in really high-traffic areas, and minimize heavy use during the hottest, driest times.
And Remember, It’s Never Too Early To Plan for Fall Lawn Care
As summer starts to wind down, it’s time to look ahead to fall lawn care. Plan for aeration, overseeding, and fertilization to rejuvenate your lawn after the summer stress. It’s a fantastic time for lawn improvements, so stay tuned for more tips and tricks!
In the meantime, please reach out with any questions. The team here at Elements Lawn & Pest is ready to help.