Summer Weather Alert
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Summer brings the best "outdoor weather" of all seasons, and given the recent restrictions, many of us are spending more time at home in our yards. While warm weather is perfect for family activities, it can introduce some challenging variables for lawn care, especially in the northeastern US.
The months of June, July, and August bring extreme temperatures to our region, including periods of drought, the occasional flash flood, and a host of different insects. All of these variables can cause stress to your lawn, so it's important to stay educated and prepared.
Here are some "best practices" we recommend for keeping your lawn in the healthiest shape possible:
Summer Watering Tips
Check your lawn’s saturation level before turning on the sprinkler.
Avoid watering during peak heat and sunlight as can damage and weaken the grass. Early morning is the best time to water.
Water your lawn on a regular schedule. It is ideal to water lawns about one inch of water per week. (On average, 20 minutes, three times per week will give a lawn about an inch of water.)
If regular/consistent watering isn't feasible, it's better to allow your summer lawn to "enter dormancy" until more favorable conditions arise.
Summer Mowing Tips
A good rule of thumb: Just like the temperature, grass height should rise in the summer. Now's the time to raise the mower blades as high as possible, usually about to 3 or 3.5 inches. When grass is allowed to grow longer, it provides more shady patches for the soil, helping prevent weed seeds (like crabgrass) from germinating. This also protects your lawn’s roots from the harsh weather. During a heat wave, mow early in the morning or later in the evening, to avoid stressing the grass blades further. Finally, mow with the sharpest blade possible. Dull, nicked blades will cut your grass unevenly, damaging the ends, and leaving an entry point for disease to creep in.
Summer Weed Control
A broadleaf post-emergent weed control will combat weeds like crabgrass, Nutsedge and white clover. Given the warm winter we had this year (without a hard freeze), spring and summer 2020 are proving to be aggressive for weeds. Why? Warmer soil temperatures cause earlier germination for weeds, so even if you received early rounds of pre-emergent weed control, invasive species will have more of a fighting chance to take root. Spot spraying should target the most challenging patches, so we don’t blanket your lawn with herbicide. Keep in mind that extra work may be needed at this time of the year.
During the hottest months, a soil amendment (such as an organic compost-based application) is your best bet to harness the benefits of your soil’s naturally occurring microbes.
Vivid Lawn uses an organic “heat-relief” formula for our summer visits, which is lower in nitrogen to prevent damage to the turfgrass.
Some types of grass (including "cool season" grasses such as rye and fescue) will naturally go dormant and turn duller during this time of year. "Dormancy" is simply a state where water usage is reduced while the lawn focuses resources on the roots. Though not the ideal look, you can expect that it will recover quickly when conditions improve. If you lawn has gone dormant, try to limit foot traffic on the lawn as much as possible, to prevent further weakening of the turf.
Give us a call with any questions, and we look forward to helping you achieve the healthiest lawn possible this summer.