Summer is the time when your lawn gets a hammering – from kids, garden party guests and pets. So, when the heat is on, how do you keep your grass looking great? "After a particularly mild winter, where weeds may have taken hold in spring, warmer temperatures from June to August affect how and what you should do to maintain your lawn," says Steve Taylor, technical lawn expert and adviser to GreenThumb lawn treatment service. He offers this simple guide for those wanting their lawns to look in peak condition this summer.
This spring has been dry and cool and we are now into summer – now is not a good time to be doing much in the way of the aeration and scarification. Cut your lawn correctly by not mowing below 25mm in summer.
Adapt your watering schedule to the weather. If you do not water the grass, it will dehydrate and a weak lawn will leave an opportunity for weeds and all the wrong types of grass to germinate and grow in it. Water using a sprinkler, moving it about the lawn from place to place leaving it in each area for approximately 10 minutes but no longer. Some people soak it once a week but we find it best to start watering before the soil dries out. If the lawn has slight tinges of brown, then get watering now.
The most common mistakes concern cutting height and when not to cut. When cutting in spring, keep the height at not less than 25mm (1in). In warmer, drier periods raise the height of the cut to 40mm (1.5in) but if it remains really dry and watering is difficult, then up to 50mm (2in). When the grass is not growing and is becoming brittle, do not cut it. If the lawn has become dry, watering is essential if you want to keep it looking good and you may have to increase your watering program to recover the lawn. Only when you start to see the lawn recover, is it time to restart cutting again.
These should be nutrition-based and applied at both the start and towards the end of the summer. By applying an early and late summer treatment, each plant in your lawn will be strengthened to withstand warm conditions and will ensure a healthy and vibrant green coloured lawn for you to enjoy on long summer days.