Summer is the peak season of the year for enjoying the lawn and garden. Some attention is required to efficiently maintain lawn health.
Lawn fertilizer may have been applied to the lawn during the spring season. A gentle but nitrogen-rich additive, often described as a “lawn tonic”, can be added during the early summer. Low applications of weedkiller, especially at specific points where digging out has either proved unworkable or unsuccessful, may be required at intervals throughout the summer for deep-seated and persistent weeds. The ideal conditions for weed killing and also for most fertilizing during summer are when the grass is dry but the soil is thoroughly moistened.
Worn areas of lawn are best attended to in late summer, but before there is any danger of the ground losing too much heat. Turf is much quicker to replace in worn areas than using seed and the lawn is reusable again in about a month.
Seed of a general hard-wearing quality is much cheaper but the lawn has to be left much longer while the seed germinates. Small patches can be reseeded after aerating and raking. All seeding activity should be followed by watering. After early summer, the rate of grass growth is slower, so the height of lawn mower blades should be higher to maintain a green lawn.
Dealing with Dry Weather
Any reduction in the green color of the lawn, other than obvious signs of damage, signifies that the lawn is drying out and requires watering. If the summer has been dry and rain is forecast, spiking the lawn before the rain falls increases its benefit.
During very dry spells, keeping the mower blades higher than would normally be the case helps protect the lawn, not least by leaving any dew within the grass surface to help retain moisture.
Mowing activity needs to be much reduced in dry weather. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn serves to act as a mulch to retain moisture if the weather is dry.
If the weather is dry, no lawn treatments should be applied unless they can be thoroughly watered in. Walking on burned areas of lawn risks damaging any shoots that may be trying to grow. Dead grass should be raked out if the grass is not too dry and care is exercised.
If an automatic water sprinkler is used on a lawn, a useful tip to gauge how much water is required is to place a container such as a jar or bottle to gather water within the sprayed area and stop the spraying when the required level of water has been reached.
Though summer is the time of most enjoyment of the lawn as well as the time of most effort, work on the lawn will continue through the autumn, and while spring is a useful preparatory time in any lawn care programme, winter is often underestimated and can be used to save time and trouble during the main seasons of lawn maintenance.