Summer is here and with it brings the challenges of keeping your lawn and landscape healthy and green.
If we get a heat wave and water becomes scarce, your lawn will protect itself by going into a dormant state. The first signs of this state is loss of green color and much slower growth. Summer dormancy is a natural survival mechanism used by turf grasses to conserve water and energy.
As the temperature cools and moisture levels increase, your lawn will resume normal health and growth.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help your lawn handle summer conditions:
DON’T CUT YOUR LAWN TOO SHORT!
- Raise your mower blade to the highest setting and do not cut the lawn any lower than 3 inches (If you have a landscaper make sure he/she knows this). The longer the lawn is the more it shades the soil, keeping it cooler and reducing water evaporation. A longer lawn also helps to prevent summer weeds, like crabgrass and spurge from germinating.
WATER IF YOU CAN!
- If your town does not have a watering ban or if you have a well you should water the lawn at least 2-3 times a week when there is no rain.
KEEP YOU MOWER BLADES SHARP!
- The sharper the blade the cleaner the cut. When dull blades are used the tips of the grass blades are shredded and cause more moisture to be lost.
- It is best to mow regularly so that you never cut more than 1/3 of the blade off at once. Removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade can brown out the lawn and cause it to go into dormancy. This is especially true for lawns under heat/drought stress.
AVOID FOOT TRAFFIC OVER BROWN OR DORMANT AREAS
- Lawns are stressed enough without being trampled down affecting its ability to properly grow.
- Pay close attention to the thatch level. A thick layer of thatch can prevent moisture and air from getting to the root system which in effect will suffocate the lawn. By raking or aerating these areas, you can reduce thatch and build a healthier lawn.