The long-awaited summer heat has children planning ways to cool off, and adults tending to their lawn and gardens to keep their property in its best condition, looking great throughout these warmer months. Now with temperatures continuing to rise, along with problematic dry weather and increased foot traffic posing additional stress, lawn care is at the top of the list for things to maintain throughout the season. Fortunately, by adopting and changing a few simple habits, your lawn should be able to tolerate the environmental stressors over these hot summer months. Here are some lawn saving tips to ensure your property looks its finest with full, strong and healthy grass all season long.
How Often Should I Mow
How often you mow your lawn generally depends on how fast your grass is growing. Usually, once a week will suffice, but slower growing grass might only require a clipping once every 10-14 days. Environmental factors also come into play when considering how often to cut your grass; If you are experiencing a drought, your lawn’s ability to recover from mowing may become hindered due to stress. Instead, hold off until after a rainfall, when the grass becomes dry again before resuming your lawn-care routine.
How Much To Cut
One of the most common mistakes we make when caring for our lawn is cutting the grass too short. While it may mean more time in between lawn maintenance days, it actually hinders the plants’ ability to produce enough energy for growth. Grass should be kept at about 3 inches height, only removing ⅓ of the grass height each mow. By maintaining the proper height and cutting the proper amount at a time, shade is created, locking moisture in the soil and allowing the grass to develop stronger roots allowing it to become more tolerant of weather-related and physical stress.
When To Water
The best time of day to water your lawn is in the morning, to allow the leaves to dry slowly and naturally. Unfortunately, this isnt always possible if water restrictions are put in place by the city; if this is the case, watering in the evening is better than not watering at all. Physical signs that your lawn should be watered include the grass taking on a blue-green haze, beginning to appear yellow, or if your footprint doesn’t spring back when you remove your foot.
Lawns only need about 1”-1 ½” of water per week and should be watered the full amount in just one day, instead of sparsely throughout the week. By allowing one deep, thorough watering, and by giving the lawn time to fully dry out in between, the roots of the grass will grow deeper (stronger) in search of more moisture.
Reuse Grass Clippings
There are many benefits to keeping your grass clippings on the lawn, which is a practice otherwise referred to as “grasscycling”. The leftover clippings are actually beneficial, and leaving them on the lawn allows it to act as a slow-release fertilizer as they decompose. It is important to mow when the lawn is dry, as this will help the mower chop the blades of grass, avoid clumping, and cause less stress to the grass overall.