Summer can really be a stressful time for your lawn as the temperatures increase and rainfall amounts decrease. Keeping your lawn healthy and green throughout these hot days is very important. Here are a few tips that will help:
As the temperatures hover around 100 degrees fahrenheit, many will tend to mow their lawns on the same schedule - perhaps once every 4-7 days. Lawn care companies tend to set their schedules for taking care of their customers on the same day every week. However, with hot weather you may need to consider mowing less frequently, giving your grass time to achieve a more desired cutting height between mowings. Letting the grass grow to a higher level and even raising your mowing deck a tad higher will help a ton. This will allow the soil to enjoy a little more shade, allowing it to retain much needed moisture.
While fertilizing is a great idea for a healthy lawn, you should only consider doing so at the beginning of summer - AND only fertilize according to the instructions. If you over fertilize at any time of the year you can run the risk of burning your grass. Summer heat brings enough stress on its own without the added burden of too much fertilizer being applied. If your grass is a cool-season grass, don’t fertilize in the summer at all. Cool-season grasses are best fertilized in the fall and spring.
Most of us fall into the habit of cutting our grass at the same height every time. Depending on the type of grass you have, during the summer it is recommended to set your mowing deck anywhere from 3 - 4”, trying not to cut more than ⅓” of the new growth. If you scalp the lawn, you could potentially kill your grass. Also keep in mind that Spartan mower decks are easy to adjust - even on the go!
It is generally recommended to mow early in the morning, especially after any dew has evaporated. If this isn’t an option, consider mowing early in the evening in order to reduce possible stress caused by the hard-hitting midday sun. Not only will your lawn thank you, but you will enjoy cooler mowing temps.
Although watering the lawn is nice, it is not the end all to saving a lawn in the summer. Since lawns do require at least an inch of rain per week to stay actively growing, anything less means growth will slow and the color will fade. Since the grass blade is mostly water, it may come as a surprise that without rainfall the lawn will lose its green color and most of its ability to grow all that much. If three weeks have gone by without rainfall, then a light watering can help keep your lawn alive. Once the moisture runs out, grass will shut down and go to sleep like a bear in hibernation. This is a protection mechanism and helps most turf withstand a typical summer. Late afternoon to evening watering is not desirable because disease issues can quickly develop, causing damage ranging from small to large patches. Watering times vary from the thatch thickness, sun to shade ratio, slope, and turf varieties. When in doubt, any water is better than none, but is not necessarily required in the big picture.
Keep in mind that grass types are different depending on the climate and area you live in. What may work for bermuda in Maine may not work the same way in Texas. The best thing you can do is get to know your Spartan mower and get to know your grass. Also - be sure to check out our amazing 2022 lineup of Spartan Mowers at a Spartan Dealer near you. From commercial zero turn mowers and stand on mowers - to zero turn mowers for small and large yard applications, Spartan has the perfect model to meet your needs.
Enjoy your summer and take care of your lawn!