Home / How-to Lawn Care in the Summer, by the Lawn Guy Jared
Apr 04 2018 (written by Jared Cooper) 158
Summer’s heat, wind, and sporadic rain are tough on a lawn, but this article will hopefully give you some simple tips on how to improve your green-space.
Table of Contents:
Understand that depending on your soil composition (black rick dirt versus dry sand) and percentage of shade (direct sun all day or sun-shade mix) your lawn may show signs of stress to varying degrees (think brown patches, unruly weeds sprouting where once was thick and green). Each lawn is different, and acceptance that it will not look near as fantastic as it did in early May, will keep you from going crazy thinking you have the worst lawn on the block.
If you’re a perfectionist, and try to force it to grow like an emerald carpet be advised those huge water, sewer and fertilizer bills have more costs than on your wallet; and when it still looks just okay, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
Often you can get a better angle if you lift the side discharge chute. See, that’s why they pay me the big bucks. If you are unable to measure it this way, raise the deck to the highest setting and mow a strip of your lawn. Then measure the length of the cut blades from the ground. If more than 3 ½” lower it once step and repeat until you reach that sweet spot.
Free tip: When you mow, be smart about it. Change directions instead of mowing in the same circle round and round until it’s done. That way the grass doesn’t develop a memory from being pushed in the same direction every week. Raise the mower deck like I told you. Don’t mow the day before a week of highs in the 90s and no rain. Let the grass blades grow longer to shade the roots during these hot months. I know it will look a little long and shaggy compared to how you usually like it, but your lawn will thank you.
If you have a rain gauge or an empty ice cream pail, set it under the sprinkler so you can get an accurate idea of how much water you are giving each watering. What you don’t want is to water often, for short periods of time. If a lawn receives shallow watering, the root systems will be less likely to reach down for the water and minerals in the soil. Imagine this: deep roots are happy roots.
Never go above 20 percent Nitrogen any time of year. But in the summer, look for a product in the 10 to 15 range for that first number. Phosphorous is the middle number, and is not currently allowed on lawns in Minnesota (except when seeding or over-seeding). Potash (third number) can be present but not always. Look closely at the label on the bag or box and look for the active ingredient list to identify which trace minerals and in what percentages are present.
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