It’s been a long, hot summer. And though the worst of the heat may be over, summer isn’t quite finished with us yet. Mother Nature’s likely to send the mercury soaring several more times before she turns cold for the winter.
Summer can be tough on people. But in truth, most living things can suffer considerably during the scorching hot days of summer. And that includes your lawn grass.
Sure Signs That Your Lawn is Suffering
A well-maintained, properly watered lawn can handle whatever the summer season dishes out. But a lawn that receives less than the best in care, or that doesn’t receive the just-right amount of water, will not fare well.
And if your lawn is struggling to survive the summer heat, it will tell you in the only way it can: its appearance. These are the indications that your lawn needs some help in coping with soaring summer temperatures:
- Faded Color: Does your lawn have sort of a drab, dull look? Is it green, but not the vibrant green you’re used to seeing? That’s an indication of heat stress.
- Reduced Spring-Back: Lush and healthy lawn grass should resiliently spring back to shape when you walk across it. But if footprints remain long after you step on the grass, that probably means that your lawn is struggling with the heat.
- Brown Spots: If your lawn is beginning to show brown spots, that’s an indication that your grass might be having severe difficulties in handling the heat.
You Might Be Making It Worse When You Mow
There’s not much you can do to control the heat. That’s firmly in Mother Nature’s control. But there’s much you can do to help your lawn grass handle the heat.
You can start by not making things worse each time you mow. Mowing can be rather traumatic for lawn grass, even during times of mild temperatures. But when your grass is struggling just to survive a time of high temperatures, improper mowing can dramatically add to the stress your lawn must endure.
Lessen the trauma of mowing by following these 3 tips:
- Keep your grass longer rather than shorter. Taller grass is able to retain more moisture than shorter grass. Taller grass also shades the soil more effectively than shorter grass. And that helps to lower soil temperatures, and reduces the rate of water evaporation.
- Mow frequently enough so that you’re not removing a large portion of each grass blade with each mowing. The more you remove each time you mow, the more traumatic it is to the plant. As a rule of thumb, plan on mowing frequently enough so that you’re never removing more than 1/3 of the total length of each blade with a single mowing. And never cut the grass to a total length of less than 3 inches during hot weather.
- Make clean cuts by keeping your mower blades sharp. Dull blades create ragged, jagged ends by tearing more than cutting. That increases the stress to the plants by increasing the size of the wounds created with each mowing.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do…
Nothing will help your grass to weather the weather better than proper watering. And that doesn’t simply mean giving your lawn enough water. It means giving your lawn the proper amount of water: not too much, and not too little.
It also means watering at the proper times. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to water less frequently and more deeply. And it’s better not to water during the heat of the day; very early morning is a great time to water.
But the very best thing you do to help your lawn through the heat (and through all other seasons), is to take advantage of the benefits of modern technology. With the cutting-edge technology known as smart irrigation controllers, you can more accurately provide your lawn with exactly the amount of water it needs, and exactly when it needs it.
Our Hydrawise unit is a great example. It’s a game-changer in helping your lawn sail smoothly through the rigors of the hot-weather season. In fact, many people consider smart irrigation controllers to be the most significant advancement in lawn care in many decades.
It’s a great way to help your lawn grass survive summertime stress – not just for this year, but for many years to come. And it’s a great way to reduce your stress levels, too, by making lawn care easier than it’s ever been.