Fun in The Sun
The principal purpose of summer watering is to maintain an attractive green surface when it may be appreciated the most.
Homeowners who have a lawn-care service should not allow their lawn to enter drought dormancy! Most lawns in our area consist of cool-season lawn grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescue. These grasses naturally slow down and may go dormant in the heat of summer.
Cool-season grasses (such as fescue, bluegrass, and rye) grow best when temperatures are in the 60s F.
Warm-season grasses (including Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede, and Bermuda) like temperatures in the 70s.
Don’t let your lawn go brown and dormant, then try to “water it back to life.” If your lawn goes dormant in summer, it should stay that way until fall – don’t worry, it should recover once the weather changes.
We recommend watering lawns all summer as needed to keep them green.
- Water Wisely
- Lawns need at least one inch of water per week when the heat is severe. Use a rain gauge to keep track of the amount of water received from rainfall and irrigation.
- Water deeply and less frequently to encourage drought-tolerant roots.
- Water early in the day to reduce evaporation and fungal growth.
- Either water your lawn regularly and deeply, or don’t water at all.
Tips for July
- Water your lawn as needed. If you do not water, your lawn will naturally go dormant.
- Early in July, fertilize with a controlled-release or slow-release fertilizer. For grass growing in the sun, use the label rate of the fertilizer that you have selected. For grass growing in the shade, apply half of the label rate. If your lawn has been consistently fertilized for 10 to 15 years, if you leave clippings on your lawn when you mow, or if your lawn has gone dormant, skip this application.
- Apply a grub control product to your lawn if there is a history of grub problems and/or your lawn is a high maintenance (i.e., regularly watered) lawn.
- Avoid seeding and spraying for weeds.
- Watch for insect pests, diseases, and other lawn problems.
It’s best to hold off until later in the season for most other lawn care, including fertilizing, seeding, thatch control, and applying weed killers. The period from late August through early September is ideal for many of these services. For now, help your lawn by proper mowing, watering.
A Word About Mowing
Mowing height and frequency directly affect the performance of a lawn. The shorter turf is cut, the more frequently it should be mowed. Mowing a lawn short under the assumption it will require less frequent cutting is responsible for much lawn deterioration.
When grass is cut too closely, not enough leaf surface remains to manufacture necessary foods for sustenance and root growth. For this reason, it is best to never remove more than one-third of the green leaf area with a single mowing. If you miss a mowing, cut half way back to the intended height, and then a couple of days later cut again.
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