Sometimes the changes in Cleveland’s weather is abrupt. It can go from the coolness of a wet spring into hot summer weather in a few short weeks. Your lawn can go from bright spring green to a dried-up brown quickly, but there are some things you can do to prevent this. Here are a few lawn care tips to keeping your lawn healthy and green all summer long in Cleveland, OH.
1. Types of turf
The grasses that thrive the best in Cleveland include cool-season grass types. These types of grasses like the temperatures to stay around 60-75 degrees. If the temperature goes higher, then the grass becomes stressed. If your lawn is healthy, it can withstand the onslaught of higher temperatures. If the lawn is already stressed from damage caused by mowing, insects, disease or drought, then the yard has difficulty in recovering. Knowing what turf your yard consists of is essential, so it gets the proper care.
In the summer, weeks can pass without significant rainfall. Your lawn will become stressed and begin to go dormant so that it can conserve much-needed energy. The grass will look dead, brown and dry if you touch it but it is OK. It will recover once the fall brings in the cooler temperatures. But if you water your lawn correctly, you can keep it from going into dormancy. It’s better to water your lawn infrequently but deeply which would follow the pattern of average rainfall. Three to four days a week with a deep soaking will help to keep your lawn green.
You wouldn’t think that proper mowing was a big issue, but it is one. If you don’t mow the correct way, you can cause your lawn to become scorched so that it doesn’t recover. The proper way is to mow the lawn no shorter than 3- 3 ½ inches. Don’t mow in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest temperatures for the day. Mow often but only remove about 1/3 of the blade of grass. This will give your lawn a manicured look while still keeping it healthy.
In extreme heat, you don’t want to over-fertilize. In the summer heat, a lawn that is growing with the help of fertilizer can become weak and tender. It will consume more fertilizer than it can grow in the heat. When your grass is overfed, it will put the extra energy into growing instead of surviving the hot weather. This stresses your lawn and additional fertilizer applied will also cause scorched spots in your yard. In fact, stop fertilizing about 30 days before the hot weather begins.
5. Insects and disease
Both of these problems can crop up in the summer. Plus, if your lawn is stressed from the heat, you can get an infestation of sod webworms, chinch bugs, fire ants, fleas, and army-worms. To help prevent this, try not to water at night and if the case is severe, use a fungicide when the hot weather has passed, and the summer day is mild.
6. Foot traffic
By summer, your lawn can start to show signs of wear and tear. It can be prevalent especially in the traffic pathways. You can always make a footpath from stepping stones to help prevent this as well as diverting traffic to other areas. If your rainfall is plentiful, a little fertilizer can be applied to help regrowth faster. In the fall, the area can be reseeded to thicken the lawn for the following year. It will help to repair any damage which was caused by the summer traffic.
7. Weed control
Getting control of weeds before they start to bloom and spread their seeds is essential. You can use post-emergent herbicides which will kill broadleaf weeds without harming your lawn. But, it needs to be applied when the temperature is 85 degrees or less for a couple of days. With your lawn being stressed from the summer, keep in mind, that any product which is used can damage your lawn. Pulling the weeds or using the weed killer sparingly is another option instead.
Following these tips will make keeping your lawn lush and green this summer. If you need help with your lawn care, visit our Cleveland lawn care page for more information!