Extreme summer heat is conducive to a couple of things: staying inside with an ice-cold drink in your hand, and a brown, dry lawn. One of these things you’ll certainly want to avoid. Luckily, at Memphis Landscape, we make it our business to give you the only advice you’ll need to keep your lawn healthy and vibrantly green. With a little care, you’ll get the hang of it in no time and save yourself the hassle of long afternoons in the sun resodding dead grass. Let’s get started.
Watering Just Right
When the weather gets hot, your first instinct might be to soak your lawn in a deep layer of hose water. In fact, this is a very common problem that we see regularly. Overwatering turf grass often leads to mildewing and disease in the grass, which has been deprived of oxygen in the saturated soil. This is a sure-fire way to kill your lawn, but it’s quite easy to avoid. First, don’t water after it’s just rained (that’s a pretty simple one). Second, don’t water every day. Instead, you should water your grass deeply when it looks dry. You’ll saturate the grass, but only for a short time. This is better than keeping the grass in a constant state of saturation by watering every day, as there’s less time for the roots to be deprived of that vital oxygen. A good rule of thumb for most grass species is to water about an inch every week.
Another good rule is to water in the morning, when it’s cool. Not only will this mean you don’t have to break a sweat, but also less water will evaporate. This is better for your water bill and your grass, as you’ll be able to tell precisely how much water you’ve given the lawn and know that little to none of it’s being sucked up by a thirsty sun.
Watch Those Cuts
We’ve all been there: you hop on your lawnmower, and wow is it hot out. You want to get in as soon as possible, and cut in a way that’ll delay the next cut for quite a while. So you kick the blades to the lowest setting, and you’re off to the races. Sadly, this is a great way to kill your grass.
When you cut your grass too short, it makes it harder for the plants to gather sunlight energy, resulting in their roots weakening. Then, they simply cannot tolerate the regular stresses they’d normally be subjected to. By doing this, you certainly do get to delay future cutting, but you’ll also end up with a sea of brown grass in your lawn. Yikes!
All grass is a bit different, and it’s important to know what length you should be cutting at. We’re experts at that sort of thing ,so feel free to contact us here if you have any questions about your particular situation. Better safe than sorry, don’t you think?
Clippings? Who Needs ‘Em? (Your Lawn)
If you regularly bag your grass clippings during the spring or fall, it’s best to skip this step in the summer. Instead, try using a mulching mower to return the clippings to the lawn, promoting growth. This is an easy, inexpensive way to offer your lawn the low-stress fertilization it needs to beat the heat. You want to promote growth, but you don’t want to overfertilize your lawn when you’re grass is struggling just to stay alive. That’s what makes clippings the perfect compromise. Also, it’s quicker and easier. Who doesn’t want that?
Maybe Skip the Mowing this Week
Hasn’t rained in awhile? It’s probably best not to mow. While you shouldn’t mow when your grass is soaking wet (it’ll clump like nobody’s business), you also shouldn’t mow when your grass has been bone dry for a couple of days. That’s because a dry lawn has a very limited ability to recover from the process and is more perceptible to death.
To avoid this, try mowing a few hours after you’ve watered. This will ensure your lawn’s at the top of its game to respond to its haircut.
Be Persistent, Reap Rewards
The heat certainly won’t relent, so you can’t either if you want your lawn to maintain its healthiness. A few missed waterings can spell the end for your grass, so it’s best to make all parts of the maintenance process pieces of your routine. Some days, this will could just mean eyeballing the lawn for a few seconds to see if it looks overly dry, and on other days, this will mean deep-watering and high-mowing. Use your best judgment, and don’t hesitate to seek help from the experts if you’re unsure of your next step.
Finally, don’t forget to use what you’ve been protecting. Of all the advice listed above, this is certainly the most important. Set up some umbrellas and have a BBQ; play fetch with an exuberant dog. After all, what’s the point of a great lawn if you aren’t using it?
Let Us Take a Look
We know your life is busy enough as it is, and we would love to help take some of that stress off you this summer. If you’ve got any questions or concerns about your lawn, garden, or just about landscaping in general, please give us a call at 901.343.6400, or contact us here. We hope to speak with you soon!