Now that spring is behind us and your lawn is green, healthy and ready for summer, your next challenge is to keep it that way as the mercury rises. Under the burning sun of July and August, your lawn will consume more water and nutrients. If you start to notice a brownish hue, especially in highuse areas, your lawn may either not be getting enough water, or your soil may suffer from a nutrient deficiency. Here are a few tips to help your lawn make it through the hot summer months.
Watering is especially important during periods of high heat. With increasingly dry conditions and more and more water restrictions popping up all over the place, it’s important to know the facts about watering!
- The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning. If you water late in the day, much of what you’re putting on your lawn will be lost to evaporation. If you water later in the evening you run the risk of having moisture related issues, such as mushrooms.
- No two grasses are created equal! Some grasses will require a lot of water, while others will consume a lot less. Manderley Less Water Sod, for example, will use as little as half the water of an average lawn. It will also stay greener longer during drier periods.
- Pay attention to your lawn and to the weather. While it’s become a common rule of thumb to say that your lawn will need about 1” of irrigation on a weekly basis, this doesn’t take into account other factors such as temperature, rainfall, amount of usage and types of grass.
- Don’t overwater! If your lawn is looking good or if rain is on the way, let Mother Nature do what she does best! On the other hand, if you lawn is starting to look worse for wear, don’t be afraid to irrigate and gauge the response.
- Be aware of your city’s municipal bylaws. Many towns have specific lawnwatering times and dates in order to conserve water and avoid unnecessary stress on the aqueduct system. Although we sometimes feel like we have an endless supply of water, it’s really just an illusion. Water is a valuable resource: use it wisely.
Adding back nutrients to your soil is another very important summertime practice.
- One way to do this is to follow a regular mowing program and leave your grass clippings on the lawn. We call this “grasscycling”. The clippings will break down quickly, adding moisture and nutrients back into the system, all the while promoting healthy microbial activity to help to manage thatch and improve the health of your soil.
- Fertilizer is another option that will help keep your lawn happy even under difficult conditions. In midsummer, your lawn will use a lot of nitrogen to keep growing and looking green. Try a fertilizer with a midrange nitrogen value (the fi rst number you see on any bag of fertilizer formula) – ideally somewhere between 15 and 20. Be sure to choose a fertilizer with a slow or stabilizedrelease nitrogen to reduce lawn burn!
- Better yet, try a fertilizer like Manderley’s Maintenance Formula. It has just the right amount of nitrogen to keep your lawn looking sharp, while its potassium content helps reduce plant stress and improve water retention.