Summer is of course the height of the growing season for lawns, when they’ll be at their healthiest, growing the fastest, and needing the most attention from us in the forms of increased lawn mowing requirements, garden edging to remove runners from garden beds, extra water and perhaps wetting agents too. So let’s take a look at some of the summertime lawn care practices we should be considering for our lawns.
Lawn mowing will need to be kept in check in the Summer months, many people may like to skimp by dragging out lawn mowing frequencies in the Summer so as to save themselves some time if mowing their own lawns, or to save themselves some money if hiring a lawn mowing service to do the work for them.
Regular lawn mowing ensures a lawn which is maintained in, and presents itself in the best possible condition through the peak lawn season. Irregular or less frequent lawn mowing in Summer can lead to a buildup of thatch, which can then lead to scalped and brown or even sunburnt lawns when we do again get around to mowing. A lawn type such as Saint Augustine can worsen its thatch layer permanently if not regularly mowed in the warmer months.
Mulch lawn mowing should always be favored over catching clippings for regularly mowed lawns.
Just as our lawns need more regular lawn mowing due to increased growth rates, so too will our lawns grow laterally too, sending out runners, both above ground and below ground (stolons and rhizomes) into our garden beds, paving, and anywhere else they can find a place to creep into.
Digging out lawn runners from garden beds and paving will be necessary in the Summer growing season, lest our grass takes a foothold into places where we don’t want it, leading to a bigger cleanup job in the future, as well as an untidy garden.
Watering will of course need to be increased to lawns over the hot Summer months. The same practices should be applied to watering our lawns in Summer as for any other time of year, only that we need increase the amount of water going onto the lawn.
The best practices for watering our lawns are repeated throughout this site. Water lawns in the morning to help prevent lawn disease and to give lawns the most amount of water at the time of day when they can make most use of that water, during the daylight hours.
Rather than having a set and forget timer for watering, allow the lawn to tell us when it needs its next watering. Keep an eye on the lawn and when the leaf starts showing signs of wilting, we then give the lawn a deeper watering… applying more water, less often; this will give our lawns nice deep roots which are more tolerant of heat and soil moisture loss in Summer.
Summer is an ultimate time to apply wetting agents to our lawn if so required. Many soils can be water repellent, whereby water will be forced away from the soil and onto paths and down drains, or water will not disperse properly throughout the soil profile, leaving us with dry patches here and there and a patchy looking lawn as a result.
Wetting agents will allow for much better penetration of water throughout the soil profile, and assist hydrophobic soils with better penetration and dispersal of water, for overall better lawn and garden health.
Regular application of lawn fertilizers are absolutely necessary for many lawns in different regions, dependent on soil type, to be maintained to their full potential. Summer may be a different story for some of us though, where we may find that our lawns are thriving, healthy and green, without any need for a fertilizer boost. If this is the case with our own lawns, then we may quite easily skip the mid-summer fertilization of our lawns.
The most important times of year we can fertilize our lawns are, one month before Winter, the middle of Winter, and then as we go into Spring. These practices ensure we have the strongest lawn over the Winter cold months, which may stay a little greener over Winter, but will ultimately green up the fastest once Spring arrives again, thus laying the groundwork for much of our lawn’s health throughout the other parts of the year.
If desiring to fertilize lawns for Summer, the better time would be to do so at the beginning of the season rather than the middle, though of course we can still apply lawn fertilizers at any time of year if our lawns so need it. Always be sure to water fertilizers into the lawn after application, this is most especially important in Summer when some fertilizer types can burn the lawn on hot days if not immediately watered in.
Be sure to sweep or blow surrounding pathways clean after lawn fertilizer application, and before watering the lawn, to ensure the Iron in the little fertilizer granules do not leach out to permanently stain our paths when watering is done.
Weeds may not be as prevalent in our lawns over Summer as in other times of year, so many of us may not need to address weed issues in our lawns in the hotter months. Though if we do have weed problems, we can pull them by hand or spray them as required.