Grass reaches its peak during the long, hot days of summertime. At the same time, the scorching heat can cause serious issues for your lawn. Everyone wants to have a green, maintained lawn. The basics of summer lawn care in Chicago include watering, proper mowing, and fertilizing.
Chicago area residents face different challenges. Bitter cold, snowy winters follow hot and humid summers. This climate can cause damage to your lawn if you fail to maintain it properly. Here are some summer lawn care tips for Chicago, IL homeowners.
Pick the Right Grass Type
If you look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Map, you will notice Chicago is in zone 5. The best grasses for zone 5 include:
- Bent Grass
- Tall Fescue
- Creeping Red Fescue
- Buffalo Grass
- Perennial Ryegrass
Take a look at the sunlight in your yard. If your yard offers a lot of shade, speak to a local specialist about the type of grass that grows best in the shade for your area. Planting the wrong type of grass for your area is a recipe for disaster.
If you want to keep weeds at bay, the best time to use these products is before the weeds pop up, which tends to be in April and May. If you forgot to apply it this year, don’t worry! You can apply weed control products after weeds appear in May and June. Make sure you select a cooler day for application.
Keep the Grass Watered
During spring and fall, Chicago residents can typically ignore watering their lawns. The area receives ample rain. The hot temperatures of summertime require watering to keep the grass growing.
Some residents do opt to allow their lawns to go dormant during this summer. The lawn turns yellow, but it is not dead. It will come back to a luscious green color once the temperatures cool down.
If you don’t want dormant grass, water the turf once per week to one inch. You can let your lawn dry out between each watering. However, during the scorching times of the year, watch your lawn. You may want to water more often. Early mornings and evenings are the best time to water your lawn.
Mow Your Lawn Properly
Before you mow your lawn, check to make sure the blades are sharp. If they aren’t, you will tear your grass, not cut it. Also, don’t cut your lawn too low. The ideal height is three inches during summer. Let it grow to four to five inches before cutting your grass.
Grass that is cut too short is more prone to insects and diseases. You should also leave your grass clippings in the lawn because, as the clippings decompose, nitrogen is released into the soil.
Don’t Fertilize in the Summer
The best time to fertilize your lawn is in the fall, so wait to apply fertilizer. Leaving the grass clippings in your lawn is enough fertilizer throughout the intense growing season.
As fall approaches, purchase a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio fertilizer. Fall is the appropriate time because the temperatures start to cool, particularly in September, and extra rainfall creates ideal growing conditions.
Taking Care of Your Chicago Lawn
With the right tips, taking care of your Chicago yard is possible. Some people prefer to hire professionals to provide the lawn care desired. If you want to do it yourself, remember to pick the right type of grass and properly water, mow, and fertilize your lawn. Your grass will be the greenest in the neighborhood!
Feature image source: Zillow