Summer is here and you are likely planning some lovely warm days enjoying your yard. This dream can quickly come crashing down, though, if your lawn turns brown and dry by mid-July. The following are some things that can kill your lawn, along with how to avoid them:
#1: Poor spring water management
Water is one of the key elements that keeps a lawn green and healthy, but making the grass too dependent on the surface level watering can cause it to die when the hot and dry weather of midsummer arrives. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to avoid. Avoid overwatering in spring and early summer. Instead of daily light watering, only water once or a twice a week. The key is that these irrigation sessions need to be deep so that the top 4 inches or so of soil is thoroughly moistened. In turn, your grass will send out deeper roots to reach the water, which will improve the overall drought and heat resistance of your lawn later in the season.
#2: Mowing too low
Few people enjoy mowing, which can lead to the temptation to lower the lawn mower blades so that there is no need to cut the grass so often. The problem with this tactic is that there isn't sufficient grass blade left to shade the soil, so that water then evaporates more quickly. Longer grass mulches itself, minimizing water loss so that the roots have plenty of moisture and protection from direct heat. Instead of mowing more often, set your lawnmower blade higher, up to 3 or 4 inches, and only mow when the grass is 1 to 1.5 inches above your set mowing height. The reward is a greener lawn at midsummer.
#3: Making fertilizer mistakes
Grass needs fertilizer, so many homeowners apply it at a regular schedule of every six weeks or so throughout summer. Nitrogen is the main nutrient supplied since it is responsible for greening up the grass. The problem is, it can also burn your lawn if applied at the wrong time. Most lawn grasses go semi-dormant during the hottest, driest days of summer. Growth slows so that they can conserve water. If you apply nitrogen fertilizers at this time, it will burn the grass and cause large brown spots. Instead, fertilize in spring, early summer, and again in late summer or fall to ensure a green a lawn.
For more help, talk with a lawn care contractor in your area, like Kendall Lawnscapes.