Ah, summertime. You worked all spring to get that lawn green, but now begins the real hard part; keeping it that way. Blazing temperatures become an enemy, and rainfall becomes a friend long lost. Not to mention, summer in London, Ontario means simply more usage, as feet, barbecues, games, trampolines, and all sorts of obstacles make their presence known. But where there’s a will, and the time to read – there’s a way!
The Ws; Whatcha Working With, and Water
As summer approaches, we often overcompensate by battling back against heat and dry climates, frequently fertilizing and watering to keep our lawns lush for guests, kids, and just our sense of pride. But through adequate knowledge of turf grasses’ seasonal changes, maintaining it becomes infinitely easier. It may seem like a given, but be sure to know what grass makes up your lawn; Cool-season grasses like fescue and bluegrass grow best between 15 – 21 degrees, while warm grasses like St. Augustine and Centipede flourish between 21 – 27 degrees. Make sure when you’re watering, you’re doing it deeply and less frequently, to help bolster roots in their efforts to tolerate the drought over longer periods. You want a minimum of an inch of water per week and up to two for severe heat stretches (mini-tip; tuna cans work wonderfully as an aide here!). Finally, water early in the day to mitigate evaporation. Sick of watering the grass yourself and want a controlled setup? Try installing an irrigation system.
Raise the blade! The taller the grass, the better the fight against drought. Height also equals deeper roots (how cool is nature?). Be sure to mow regularly, on a schedule that prevents cutting of more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. This prevents clippings from smothering the grass. Oh, and keep those blades sharp! (Yes, more people than you think forget this simple importance).
Feet and Fertilizer
If your grass is seeing lot of summertime running, jumping and playing, opting for stepping stones on the popular stretches is often the wise choice. You can also moderately fertilize, if rainfall is occurring with relative frequency. Though on that note, it’s imperative to understand the danger of over-fertilizing. Ideally, you are only fertilizing when that lawn is green; doing so with an already parched lawn just exacerbates the “burning”. You should avoid fertilizing entirely, up to a month before summer arrives, if you can.
Weeds, and Your Neighbors Who Can Live in Them
Summer is the prime period to destroy those weeds before they bloom, guaranteeing a return the following year. Postemergent herbicides prove effective without harming turf grass. However, you must ensure you have three or more days of 30-degree temperatures or cooler, as any product in temperatures higher can instead do further damage. You could always just get some exercise and pull weeds manual (hey, it can be gratifying!). Summer also brings out an array of infestations, from armyworms, to fleas, to chinch bugs. Now typically, these issues go away with time and even moderate lawn care, but just keep half an eye out. Grubs will hatch in the lawn over summer, but if they become problematic there are multiple effective grub-control products available at your nearest retailer.
Looking for more tips? Check out the video below.
Lawn care is a great example of getting out what you put in, so take pride in it! Enjoy your summer days outdoors in London!
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