With the unseasonably high temperatures we’ve seen so early in the summer this year, we’re going to stress the importance of caring for your lawn in extreme heat. There are a lot of common misconceptions about the right way to handle hot, dry weather with regards to your grass and we’re here to bust the myths and protect your lawns!
The first mistake a lot of homeowners make is overwatering. Here in MN we often get a torrential downpour followed by a heatwave and vice versa, yet we continue to maintain our irrigation schedule. The problem with this strategy is that the grass is actually more susceptible to disease the wetter it is. It throws off the physiology of both the soil and the grass and deprives the roots of oxygen. So if you’re tempted to water your lawn in the extreme heat, start by watering only the hot spots (areas that are prone to browning) and then check the forecast. Maybe Mother Nature will do the watering for you!
Many folks prefer a short, well-manicured look when it comes to a lawn’s curb appeal. The problem is that in high temps, grass needs more energy to survive. The shorter you cut, the less chance the grass has to produce energy for future growth. If you resist your urge to mow and give your lawn a couple of extra days to grow, it will give the roots a chance to strengthen and will be healthier overall. Making sure your mower blades are sharp will help to avoid tearing the plant tissue and will make regrowth easier for your grass. Torn plants are more likely to brown and succumb to disease. Save that short grass for spring & fall and let it flourish in the summer heat!
It may also be tempting to fertilize in the summer, when unsightly brown patches start making their appearances. The issue here is that plants use more energy after fertilization because it stimulates growth. Your lawn is already trying to compete with the rains, the mowings, and the heat- and to add one more stressor will only result in a less than healthy-looking yard. Fertilizing in either the spring or fall is the best time of year for maintaining that perfect lawn this summer. Maintaining your yard year round (when you can!) will be best for keeping your grass healthy during the months you want to showcase it.