When you’ve researched lawn maintenance for your Ohio lawn in summer, you’re likely to come across a lot of don’ts. Don’t apply extra fertilizer in the summer heat or it can cause lawn burns. Don’t mow in a drought as lawns are limited in their ability to recover.
While lawns may be more sensitive during the summer months, there’s still plenty you can do in terms of lawn maintenance. Here are best practices to weave into your summer lawn care plan.
Whether you are physically watering your lawn with sprinklers or letting nature do the work, your lawn should receive 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week in summer. This task is best left for the early morning (before 10 a.m.), so the water can soak into the soil before evaporation occurs while avoiding the spread of bacteria and disease.
Infrequent yet deep watering is the recommended approach. This creates a similar pattern that occurs naturally with rainfall. Whereas frequent, light applications often fail to reach grass roots, deeper waterings will penetrate the roots and supply lawns with the nutrients they need to thrive.
Tip: In the case of extreme heat for an extended period, you may want to slightly increase the water intake of your lawn soil. This functions as a coolant that helps keep lawns healthy.
You may be quick to rev up the mower when the summer weather starts to break, but it’s not always the healthiest choice for your outdoor space. Sometimes your lawn may be saturated from the rain, and other times it may be too dry from the heat.
During the summer, you’ll want to keep the length of your grass slightly higher than usual. Taller grass blocks out weeds that compete for resources and shades the ground from drying out. To accomplish this, set your blade height to about 4 inches in the height of summer. (Think of this as giving your lawn a trim instead of a full haircut.)
In terms of timing, it’s best to mow your lawn in the morning or evening to avoid the blistering heat. After all, freshly cut grass is more susceptible to damage in the face of midday sun. It’s also beneficial to wait until the lawn is dry as clumps of grass clippings can smother the lawn beneath.
Just because you can’t fertilize your lawn in the summer doesn’t mean that you can’t supply it with the same type of nutrients. While it’s best to stop fertilization 30 days before warmer temperatures hit, you can swap in grasscycling as an alternative during these in-between months.
Rather than simply bagging and throwing out your grass clippings, grasscycling — as the name suggests — repurposes them to benefit lawns. When these clippings are left on lawns, they dehydrate and decompose, feeding nutrients back into the lawn soil. While the health of your grass improves, you’ll save time on yard work and make a positive impact on the environment.
Warmer weather doesn’t have to translate into lifeless, dull grass. With a lawn maintenance plan that includes the above best practices, your outdoor space can flourish and remain an inviting area for you to spend time in summer.