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The summer can be harsh on your lawn. A few sweltering days can leave it with an unfortunate case of sunburn, so if your lawn is quickly losing its green color, save it with these tips for taking care of your lawn in the summer heat!
#1 – Adjust your mower blade
Avoid giving your lawn a close shave, and instead mow high. Taller blades of grass tend to grow deeper roots, which find the underground water easier. This also allows you to water your grass less, letting you enjoy the summer more. Plus, stronger, fuller grass prevents weeds from invading your yard.
#2 – Forget the catch bag
Instead of dumping out the mower’s bag every few minutes, leave the clippings on your lawn. They’ll act as food for the grass. (We could have lived without knowing lawns are cannibalistic, though.)
Of course, don’t let the grass get too high. The grass clippings can create too much shade and rot your lawn. Also, taller blades create the perfect abode for ticks, so keep your blades tall but not too tall.
#3 – Give your lawn some food
Summer is already in full swing, so if you’re in the South, go ahead and seed your lawn with a warm-season grass seed. Continue to do so every six to eight weeks and give it ample water. This will help to strengthen your lawn against heat and drought.
If you’re in the North, you may want to wait until late summer or early fall to seed for cool-season grasses. These grow best with soil temperatures ranging from 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll get a nice, full lawn…just in time for the first frost. But on the bright side, you’ll also see strong grass growth in early spring.
#4 – Continue to cut your grass
Hop on that mower or get your 10,000 steps in with your push, mulching mower.
#5 – Attack those weeds
“Get off my lawn!” is what you want to yell at weeds. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to do a bit more than that.
First, identify the types of weeds you have and how best to destroy them. For crabgrass, you might be able to pull out the offending plants and their little roots, too. Weeds with deeper roots, like clover, will give you more resistance, but who doesn’t love some outdoor cardio?
Once you know what you have in your yard, decide your attack strategy. There are different fertilizers, weed killers, and other products you can buy that will take care of those dastardly weeds. Just make sure to read and follow all manufacturer directions when using any products. Seriously. It’s important for your health.
#6 – Keep your lawn watered
Even your lawn gets thirsty. Water it thoroughly. Rule of thumb calls for the water to seep at least four to six inches into the ground. As the summer months progress, water your lawn in the morning, so the heat doesn’t evaporate your efforts.
When fall ushers in cool temperatures, you might be able to abstain from watering, especially in the North, which sees a lot of precipitation. (Lucky us.)
#7 – Enjoy your lawn
Hey, if you’re going to work this hard to make your lawn lush, you should throw around a football, hang up a hammock, grill a bit. Or just lie in the grass and look up at the blue sky. It’s summer, after all, and you deserve some R&R.
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Originally posted July 30, 2020; updated June 26, 2021