How To Rejuvenate Your Lawn After A Dry Hot Summer
Mowing too low is a common mistake across the U.S.
CORVALLIS – Lawns languish in the heat of summer unless showered with the water they require to thrive. But not to worry, the grass isn’t dead.
Come fall when the rains start again, grass greens up quickly, said Alec Kowalewski, turf specialist for Oregon State University’s Extension Service.
While letting your lawn go dormant in summer isn’t a bad thing – especially with concern about water shortages – lack of irrigation does allow pesky weeds to gain a foothold, he said. And regular wear and tear can cause compaction within a lawn, which leads to brown or bare spots.
Now is a good time to whip your lawn back into shape, but starting over usually isn’t necessary.
“You should always try renovation before putting in a new lawn because it’s difficult to get a stand of grass established,” Kowalewski said. “So if you have something to begin with, go with renovating.”
What you have to begin with can vary from addressing a few brown spots to a desert of weeds to hardpan soil. Assess your lawn’s level of neediness and then proceed with a regular renovation or a no-holds-barred one. Most often, a regular tuneup is all that’s needed.
Once you’ve got your lawn established, follow Kowalewski’s three steps to a healthy lawn that will outcompete those pesky weeds: water, fertilize and mow properly.
Watering is a matter of 1 inch a week, but don’t do it all at once.
There Are Ugly Brown Spots On My Lawn
Okay, to be honest, this ones a little more complicated, because there are several things that could be causing the spots. Possible culprits range from grubs or fungus to foot traffic, weed dieback, and dog urine. So, before you grab a product and start spreading or spraying, its important to identify what the problem is.
- If critters like raccoons and skunks have begun digging in your yard, or the dead patches of grass lift up like loose carpet, chances are you have grubs. Check out section 4 below to find out what to do.
- Spots caused by dog urine tend to have brown centers with green outer rings. Get rid of them with Scotts® EZ Seed® Dog Spot Repair Sun and Shade .
- Fungus tends to cause irregular patches of yellow or straw-colored grass that can range in size and shape. To fight back, apply Scotts® DiseaseEx Lawn Fungicide, will control a variety of fungal diseases for up to 4 weeks. Be sure to follow label directions.
- For brown spots caused by foot traffic or areas of dead weeds, a product like Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair will do the trick.
Recurring Annual Lawn Damage
One of the things I deal with every year on my lawn is damage from the snow plow along the front border of my lawn. One side of my property has a curb and sustains no damage, but the frontage that lacks a curb has the topsoil scraped clean by the snowplow every season.
Ive tried bringing in topsoil or compost and re-seeding perennial grasses as soon as the soil temperature allows in the spring, but every year the same problem reoccurs.
There are two ways to address this. The first is to build a fence or barrier that forces the snowplow to steer clear and take a wide berth of my property.
The second, is to accept that perennial grass is just not worth the investment there, and just seed a vigorous annual grass seed that requires less money and resources in that section of your lawn every spring.
Annual Ryegrass is a great choice, and this is what i use on my property since I dont want a fence on that part of my property.
You can grow Annual Ryegrass anywhere, even if you try to kill it. Its a great option to fill in sections of your lawn for one season.
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Get Your Lawn In Training
To build a strong, healthy lawn it is important not to water it too frequently. Its all about training your lawn to develop a deep root system that will see it through the summer months without the need to switch on a sprinkler every day. To get the roots of your lawn searching for water at a deeper level, you’ll need to give it a long soak two to three times per week, rather than a short daily soak. This is not helpful as it will only help to create a shallow root system.
Complete Guide To Summer Lawn Care
Summer is the best time live life outside, and the foundation for enjoying your outdoors is a beautiful lawn. Spending time outside to create and maintain thick, healthy grass is important, but not nearly as important as spending time with family and friends. Summer lawn care requires more than just watering and mowing weekly. For your lawn to be in top shape, youll need to get rid of weeds and pests, and make sure youre feeding the grass with the nutrients it needs to keep your lawn green in the summer heat. Here are a few tips on how you can make your summer lawn care a breeze:
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How To Fix Dead Grass Is It Dead Or Dormant
Whether youve had an intensely hot summer, left on vacation for a few weeks, or had a pet leave spots on your lawn, nobody likes to see yellowed or brown killed grass on their lawn. Your homes curb appeal can tell a story to guests and neighbors, so its important to keep your lawn in high standing as much as possible.
When exposed to extreme heat, extended cold, or minimal water over a period of time, grass begins to dry, recede, and eventually die if proper growing conditions arent restored.
This dormancy happens because the grass is trying to preserve itself with limited resources, so it focuses on maintaining the rooting rather than the surface grass. Fortunately, before total death, there is a period of dormancy where your lawn is just waiting to come back to life with proper treatment.
If your grass is actually dead, then here is the basic process to fix it:
- Begin a new lawn by raking the dead grass up so that youre left with just the soil.
- Spread seed so that they land firmly in the soil you tilled.
- Apply natural or chemical fertilizer to get it off on the right foot, and water & mulch it with healthy grass clippings or leaves for additional nutrients.
- Maintain it with proper sunlight & water so that it can grow. It may be a bit uneven to start, but give it a few weeks before you add another layer of seeds to spots that havent grown.
But, is your grass dead or is it dormant? Lets find out read on!
In This Article:
Never Water With Hot Water
Watering your lawn with hot water can be incredibly harmful for its overall health. It can overheat the roots or kill it entirely. Its not a good idea for the health of your hose to leave water lying in it. Water that does get left can get quite warm, even hot enough to scold the blades of grass. Always ensure you empty your hose after each use by turning off the tap and emptying the remaining water using the sprayer. If you forget, make sure you flush the hot water away before commencing watering your lawn.
So, there you have it, no rocket science and no secrets, just simple straightforward tips to keep your lawn looking great throughout the summer months. Try taking before and after pictures of your lawn so you can look back at the difference these tips have made. If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them with us!
Looking for more lawn care tips? Check out Hoselinks video with Horticulturist Ben Hayman herewhere he shares all of his top tips to get your lawn looking lush and heallthy.
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With Core Aeration Over Seeding & Fertilization
Late summer and early fall are the perfect time to schedule your annual Core Aeration, Over Seeding and Fertilizationtreatments so the air, water, seed and nutrients can really penetrate deeply to softening the soil and promoting root growth. Aeration and Fall Seeding are necessary to repair the wear and tear that summer damage has inflicted on your lawn. Now is the best time to rejuvenate your grass for a lawn you can be proud of and enjoy next spring.
Tools And Equipment For Taking Care Of Your Lawn In The Summer
Taking care of your lawn in the summer doesnt require too many tools. It is important to keep your lawn mower in good working order to reduce additional stress and damage to your grass:
- Regularly sharpen the blades to ensure that the mower is actually cutting the grass, not tearing it, which can weaken the blades
- Set your blades higher in the summer. Cool season grasses should be cut to about 3-4 inches, while warmer season grasses such as bermudagrass and centipedegrass should be mowed at 2-3 inches. If you have a St Augustinegrass lawn mow it at 3-4 inches tall. Cutting the grass too short can damage it and make it more susceptible to heat damage.
The other important tool for summer lawn care is a good irrigation or watering system. Unless you have built-in sprinklers, you will need at least one high-quality sprinkler that can water your lawn evenly. If you have a larger yard, invest in several sprinklers to save time and prevent having to move the sprinkler.
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Summer Lawn Care Tips For Warm
Unlike cool-season grasses, warm-season grasses thrive in the heat of summer. However, this doesnt mean they are a set-it-and-forget-it grass type in the summer. There is still plenty of work to do to maintain a healthy warm-season lawn.
Water Your Lawn
Warm-season grasses will need ample water to grow during the summer months, so youll want to set up a rain gauge in an area of your lawn thats fully exposed to rain. Check the gauge weekly to ensure your lawn is getting 1-1.5 inches of rain.
If the rainfall isnt adequate, you can use your irrigation system, a portable sprinkler, or a hose to supplement the lack of rain. Keep in mind, many southern states where warm-season grasses are popular are subject to strict watering restrictions in the hot months. Make sure you water only on the days and for the length of time permitted.
Feed its Growth
To maintain a healthy warm-season lawn in the summer means to keep the nutrients coming. Through its most active growth periods in the summer, youll want to apply a balanced fertilizer every four to eight weeks.
This constant feeding will keep your grass happy and growing. If you notice your lawns growing slower or browning, youll want to perform a soil test to ensure there are no deficiencies or a pH imbalance in your soil.
Mow on the Regular
Even though warm-season grasses thrive in the summer heat, they can feel the affects of drought conditions. Avoid mowing your grass if its going through the stress of drought conditions.
When Should Most People Repair Their Lawn
For most people early fall is the best time repair lawn issues.
With this timing, your lawn will have the time it needs to thrive in the temperate fall weather before the cold weather begins. Annual weed pressure has begun to fade, but soil temperatures are warm enough for rapid germination of your new seed.
However while the fall is generally the best time of year to repair lawn issues, the exact time of year at which youre best off dealing with lawn damage depends on its cause.
Lets go over some of the most common types of lawn damage, how you can address them, and at what times of year youll likely have the best long-term success.
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Water Regularly And Fertilize
Water the grass at least twice a week or more. We recommend you water it daily until you restore your lawn grass height to about 2 inches. The amount of water that your lawn needs depends on the climate of the region and the type of soil and grass in your garden. The ideal amount is 1.5 inches of water per week.
Do not let your soil dry out, as that will cause the seeds to not germinate and eventually die out. We recommend that you avoid walking over the seeded area, other than once to fertilize, as this could hinder germination.
Spread fertilizer that also has anti-weed properties over your new lawn grass. Make sure that your fertilizer contains phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.
Lawns Need Air To Breathe
Lawns need oxygen as well as water, so its important to keep your lawn aerated. Aeration involves perforating the soil at intervals to alleviate compaction, allowing water, air and nutrients to penetrate deep below the surface. The easiest and cheapest method is to push a garden fork into the ground at 15cm intervals over the entire lawn, although for large areas it may be easier to hire a machine to do the hard work so you dont have to. An aerated lawn will also be better at absorbing water rather than letting it run off.
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Does Your Lawn Need Aeration
It may not seem that your lawn is compacted, but it happens easier than you may think. Vehicles or small equipment driven on your grass are obvious culprits, but even outdoor entertaining or yard play by kids and pets can leave your lawn compacted. If your grass often looks stressed, your soil is hard to the touch or rainwater puddles up where it used to be absorbed, you may have compaction problems. Confirm your suspicions with a simple screwdriver test. Take a regular screwdriver and stick it into your lawns soil. It should slide in fairly easily. If you meet resistance, your soil is compacted, and aeration can help.
A Little Prep Work Goes A Long Way
The secret to keeping your yard thriving throughout the summer lies in the lawn care techniques you implement during the spring. By getting started early in the year, youll develop a resilient lawn thats resistant to the effects of the sun, weeds, pests, and heavy foot traffic.
But if youre tired of a less than perfect lawn and dont feel like you can keep up with the maintenance on your own, let us know. The team at Lush Lawn is ready to help.
If youre interested in our professional aeration, fertilization, or other lawn care services, you can use our convenient online calculator to get a free quote its that simple!
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Make Your Lawn The Envy Of The Block With Consumer Reports’ Expert Advice
If the lawn outside your window is giving you the blues, join the club. After a brutal winter walloped much of the country, our Facebook and Twitter feeds have been buzzing with lawn care woes from exasperated homeowners . Fortunately, many of the most common problems have fairly straightforward fixes, as youre about to read. And just in case your yard is already the envy of the block, our experts have advice on money-saving tips, the right and wrong ways to fertilize, plus results from our latest tests of mowers, tractors, and more.
Use Your Hose For Large Areas Of Weeds
- Pour concentrated herbicide into a dial sprayer and hook it up to your garden hose.
- Turn the dial on the top of the sprayer to the setting recommended on the herbicide container .
- Spray the weeds.
- Pro tip: Spray the herbicide on a calm day so the weed killer won’t drift onto your plants and flowers.
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Keeping A Greener Lawn For Longer
Good lawn care practices have always been the backbone of maintaining a green healthy lawn and it is no different here:
- Match the mowing height to the conditions
- If watering do it the right way to improve grass root depth
- Maintaining good fertility helps grass tolerate heat stress and develop deeper roots
- Aerate the lawn to keep the lawn surface open to showers – solid spikes not hollow tines
- If your lawn is naturally dry or a burned summer lawn is a common event for you try over seeding with a drought tolerant grass. See next paragraph.
Summer Lawn Preparation For Cool
Cool-season grasses are most active when the outside temperature is 60-75 degrees F. Once the summer heat arrives, they go dormant, so they require special care leading up to and throughout the summer to keep the green.
Do too little, and your cool-season grass goes into its natural dormant state and loses its lush, green look. Do too much, and you throw unnecessary dollars at your lawn or risk doing more harm than good.
Test, Aerate, and Amend You Soil
Because springtime growth will prepare your turf for survival in the summer months, you want to maximize this growth by testing and amending the soil.
Around February or whenever the ground is no longer frozen and has dried out, perform a soil test. This test will check the soils nutrient and pH levels. Using the results of your soil test as guidelines, apply the fertilizer and other amendments needed.
If your soil is in good shape nutrient-wise, feed your lawn with a balanced fertilizer to help strengthen its springtime growth.
Make sure to aerate your lawn before applying the fertilizer so the nutrients make it to the root system.
In May, youll want to retest the soil to ensure everything is in top shape before summertime hits. If your soil is still showing deficiencies, use a slow-release fertilizer to rectify the issue. This slow-release fertilizer will ensure the nutrients last through the summer.
Cutting Your Grass
Seeding Your Grass
Weed Prevention and Elimination
Water Your Lawn
Maintenance Through The Summer
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