Help Your Lawn Beat the Heat
As you well know, hot, dry days are just an inescapable part of summer. Many lawns seem to bake in the heat. But, look around and you'll see one or two in the neighborhood that look as green as can be. You can help your lawn look just as great in the heat if you do 4 things:
Water deeply but infrequently
Reseed with a more heat-tolerant grass seed
Within 6-8 weeks of feeding, microbes in the soil process most of the nutrients in the ground for your lawn to absorb. So you need to replenish these nutrients by fertilizing. A well-fed lawn grows in thick, crowding out weeds and cooling the soil, which helps it handle the heat. Also, if you feed your lawn with ScottsŪ Turf Builder® with 2% Iron, you don't have to worry about the temperature. However, if your lawn has gone dormant, hold off on feeding until rain revives it.
If you cut your grass short, you're short-changing your lawn. Longer grass allows the growth of longer roots, which can reach down for moisture even on hot, dry days. Just set your mower on one of the highest settings. You'll be surprised what a difference this simple step can make.
If your grass has been cut short all season, you're going to have to water frequently. But even longer grass needs moisture. So if you choose to water during a dry spell, be sure to water deeply but infrequently. Frequent, shallow watering encourages grass to grow short roots, causing the grass to stress out during droughts. But an inch of water a week serves as a good rule of thumb for keeping your lawn green during the hot summer. Just be sure to water as early as possible in the morning to help reduce wasteful evaporation.
Reseeding and Renovation
Older lawns may have grass varieties that just can't handle the heat. The grass may grow in bunches or have thick, ugly blades. Also, a hot summer can leave bare spots and thin areas around the lawn. New grass varieties have been developed to be able to handle scorching heat and still look good. Grasses such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Heat Tolerant Blue Mix contains Scotts® exclusive Thermal Blue Kentucky Bluegrass, which stays green even in scorching heat and drought and aggressively spreads to fill in bare spots. With cool-season grasses, it's best to reseed in fall or early spring. Those times are when conditions are optimal for grass growth.
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