How To Maintain A Lawn During Summer In The South

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This article provides helpful tips for maintaining a healthy lawn during summer in the South
by Brett · All Zones · Lawn Care · 0 Comments · July 20, 2012 · 6,673 views

Regarding the lawn, summer can be a tough time for lawn grasses in the South. Once the dry spells, heat, and humidity of early to mid summer arrive lawn grasses can start suffering stress. Regardless of how your Bermuda, Centipede, Fescue, St. Augustine, or Zoysia lawn was managed prior to the summer heat and drought, to maintain maximum health and survival of the lawn, considering the following management practices.

  • Raise your mower blade height. Mow the lawn grass higher and less frequently than you might in spring and fall: no lower than 2.5 to 3 inches in height on warm season grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede, and 4 to 5 inches in height on cool season lawns such as fescue. As a general rule of thumb, never remove more than 1/3 the height of the grass during a mowing. For example, regarding a Bermuda lawn, allow the grass to grow to 3.5 to 4 inches in height, then removing 1 to 1.5 inches of the height during the mowing. Avoid mowing if the lawn does not need it.

  • Never mow during the heat-of-day. When temperatures are especially warm, near or above 90 F, and soil moisture is limited. Mow during the mid-morning or late evening hours.

  • Always mow with a sharp mower blade. How often you sharpen mower blades can depend on the size of your lawn, making it impossible to recommend a blade sharpening schedule based on a certain number of mowings. It's best to sharpen blades on the mower about every 20 hours of use or when the leaf blades are being torn rather than cleanly cut.

  • Avoid the use herbicide to kill weeds unless absolutely necessary. Chemicals applied during the hottest part of summer can cause additional stress that the lawn does not need this time of year. So, spot spray only when necessary.

  • Irrigate the lawn, if possible. If there are water bans restricting watering or if you cannot or do not want to afford the water, definitely do not cut your grass too low and mow only when necessary removing no more than 1/3 the height of the grass during a single mowing. Regarding irrigation, in general, apply approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. If a rainfall of 1/4 inch or more occurs you can skip the next scheduled irrigation.To avoid onset of damaging fungus or disease, always water during the early morning hours and not in the late evening or at night.

  • Leave clippings on the lawn. Leaving short clippings on the lawn when mowing can help to conserve water and will put nutrients applied back into the soil. That being said, if you wait to long to mow and the clippings are too long and/or there are clumps of grass clippings, these should be removed with a rake to avoid thatch buildup and/or the onset of damaging fungus or disease.


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