Make Life Easier for Your Lawn this Summer
You think you have stress? What about your lawn? The sun beats down on it. People walk all over it. It's thirsty, and weeds want to take over. Yes, it's rough out there in the yard. But you can take some easy steps to help your lawn cope with the stresses of summer.
Stress Factors for Your Lawn
Heat, dry weather, and foot traffic are major stresses for most types of grass. Others include weeds and bugs, but they can become worse when your lawn is already suffering.
Try Not to Walk on Your Grass
When you walk on well-watered grass, the grass blades spring back. On a dry lawn, the grass stays beaten down, and the grass itself can be damaged. Also, heavy foot traffic can lead to soil compaction, which keeps air from getting to the roots of your grass.
Keep Your Mower Blade Sharp and High
Dull mower blades shred grass, so they lose more moisture than they would with a clean cut. Also, the shredded tips turn brown, making the lawn look dull. Set your blade at the highest setting on your mower. Taller grass grows deeper roots, and deeper roots can reach moisture that's further down in the soil.
When Your Lawn Is Stressed Out, Hold Off on Fertilizing
Stressed-out lawns aren't growing, so fertilizing them won't help much. Instead fertilize before the hot, dry weather arrives.
If You Water, Do It in the Morning
Morning is the most efficient time to water your lawn. Less is lost to evaporation and your lawn has time to dry off before nightfall. Watering in the afternoon is throwing water away to evaporation. Watering at night invites disease. Half an inch twice a week or 1 inch a week should keep your lawn refreshed.
Overseed in the Fall
If your lawn is prone to heat stress, you might want to overseed it with a grass that's formulated to handle heat and drought. As an example, Scotts® Turf Builder® Heat-Tolerant Blue grass seed contains Thermal Blue Kentucky bluegrass, which stays green even in scorching heat and drought, and spreads to fill bare spots. There are many varieties of Scotts Turf Builder grass seed. You can find the variety that matches your grass type here.