Even here in New England, the summer months can get pretty hot. We might welcome all that warm sunshine, but too much of it can put serious stress on our lawns. During the months of July and August when the summer heat peaks, grass growth slows and brown patches emerge in places where grasses are especially stressed. If you spent your spring weekends working to repair damage left from the winter, this can be very frustrating. Fortunately there are a few simple steps you can take to ease the stress on your lawn, keeping it healthy and green.
Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp
Dull mower blades rip and tear at grass rather than making clean cuts. This leaves jagged edges on blades of grass that are more susceptible browning and burning from the sun. Sharpen your mower blades and try to mow in the cool morning and evening hours. This will reduce the time that freshly cut grass is exposed to the scorching midday sun.
Raise Your Mower Deck
Now that you’ve sharpened your mower blades, raise your mower deck by about a half an inch. Taller grasses will grow deeper roots. Deeper roots will be able to access more moisture in the soil, thereby making your grass grow strong and healthy.
Time your watering schedule to coincide with the cooler morning hours. This will allow the water to penetrate the soil before it gets evaporated by the sun. Watering during the hottest hours the days will ultimately just cost you more on your water bill.
Resist the Urge to Feed
When you notice your lawn getting stressed in the summer, it can be tempting to treat it to an extra dose of feed. Unfortunately, because stressed grasses aren’t growing, feeding won’t do them much good. Wait until the weather cools down to feed your lawn again.