Summer will be here soon, and it can be brutal on your lawn. But summer hardiness can be improved this year and in the years ahead. Here are some things to think about throughout the rest of the growing season:
Mowing: As temperatures increase, you should gradually raise your mowing height by 25% to 50%. Also, you should remove no more than 1⁄3 of the grass blade at a time. This will keep the soil shaded and encourage deeper roots. When summer heat starts to subside, you can gradually lower the mowing height again.
Watering: Water your lawn deeply and infrequently, since light, frequent waterings encourage shallow roots that can’t sustain grass plants. Your lawn needs from 1″ to 1.5″ of water per week from rainfall or sprinkling, and you should soak the soil to a depth of 6″ each time. Early morning is the best time to water.
Core Aeration and Fertilization in the Fall: Core aeration opens up the soil, breaks up thatch and improves the flow of air, water and nutrients to the roots. By having your lawn fertilized after aeration, your turf will be less susceptible to disease while exhibiting improved recovery from the stresses of summer heat and drought. Fall fertilization will also lead to fewer summer weed problems and better fall-to-spring color.