TIPS FOR SUMMER LAWN CARE
To avoid summer problems, start tending your lawn early in the growing season. The best prevention is a lawn that is vigorous and thick. It will ward off weeds, insects, and diseases better than any other measures.
Lawns need at least one inch of water per week, and more when the heat is severe. Use a rain gauge or straight-sided can 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.
Lawns should be mowed at regular intervals. For best results your lawn should be cut every 7 to 10 days. Raise your mower blade in the summer. Taller grass is more drought-tolerant, grows deeper roots, and helps shade the earth to prevent weed seeds from germinating. A rotary mower should to be set at a height of 2 to 3 inches for the season. Your lawn mower should be kept sharp at all times. A dull mower tears the grass instead of cutting it, making it more susceptible to diseases.
You should use a catcher, or rake the cut grass to remove the cuttings and prevent the build-up of dead grass. If you do not remove the dead grass you should power rake your lawn on a regular basis to remove the layer of dead grass (thatch) that builds up, this is called power raking or de-thatching.
If your lawn is looking straggly during the summer months, resist the urge to fertilize. It is best to aerate and fertilize the lawn in the spring before the grass gets going. Applying fertilizer in the heat of summer can burn your lawn and create a flush of tender growth that will struggle in the hot summer weather. Never fertilize dormant lawns – wait until they green up in the fall.
Tackle weeds at first sight. Use a spot-treatment weed-control product designed for use on lawns, and use the product sparingly to avoid burning the grass. Pulling weeds out by hand is also effective and less detrimental to the grass.