With average temperatures reaching well over ninety degrees, summers in Chattanooga are no joke. While the growing season is at its peak, giving your lawn plenty of opportunities to thrive, now is also the time where homeowners need to remain vigilant to ensure optimal growth. Excess heat can cause many lawn problems, so staying on top of your landscape’s specific needs is essential to make sure you have a gorgeous lawn throughout the rest of the year as well.
While adequate water use is vital throughout the entire year, summer and it’s accompanying hot, dry weather makes water conservation even more critical. Summer is not the time to skimp on watering your lawn, but be sure to water wisely. Water in the early morning, ideally before the sun has come up so that your grass can take full advantage of the moisture before it has time to evaporate. Try to water every other day or every third day, giving your lawn a good, deep soaking.
If remembering to water at the same time and depth every day isn’t your thing, consider installing a rain gauge to keep track of moisture levels, or even automated sprinklers. You can time the sprinklers to come on at the same time and duration, taking all of the guesswork out of the equation.
You are less likely to develop a disease if your lawn is maintaining regular moisture and not being overwatered, but disaster can and will still strike. The same goes for pests, including insects and rodents. There’s not much you can do to prevent these issues, besides keeping your lawn clear of debris and rotting vegetation but keep an eye out for the signs of infestation. These might include areas of uneven texture and color.
You can fertilize in the summer, but you need to develop a fertilization schedule that begins in the spring and tapers off during the hotter months. Too much fertilizer applied under the hot summer sun can burn your grass and make your lawn woes even worse. Only warm season grasses should be fertilized in the summer–wait to fertilize cool-season grasses until the weather has chilled considerably.
If you notice bald spots on your lawn, consider seeding or adding plugs in the summer. If you are planting warm-season grasses, make sure you give them plenty of water as they get established. You never want a new lawn to dry out, as this will ruin all new growth.
A regular mowing should go without saying, but summer is the most important time to stay on top of your mowing schedule. Mow at least once a week, removing no more than third of the blade length at a time. Mowing more than this, especially in hot, dry weather, can stress your lawn. On the flip side, allowing grass to grow too tall can suffocate new growth and make it difficult for young grass to emerge.
If weeds, like crabgrass, have become your nemesis this summer, you can take steps to remove them in the early or late summer. Use post-emergent herbicides to get rid of the weeds now, and you will thank yourself later on.
Mulch can help keep weeds at bay and also improve your lawn to retain moisture throughout the hottest months of the year. Mulch can freshen up your lawn and beds and will also help to protect it. Consider using an organic mulch or purchase a mulching mower to do the work for you.
Most lawns need to aeration in the fall or spring, but if you are growing Bermudagrass, you can do this in the summer as well. Core aeration will help to reduce any soil compaction caused by foot traffic and will enable your lawn to utilize nutrients and water more efficiently. You can purchase an aerator or rent one for a low cost at a local garden supply store to get this task knocked off your to-do list in an afternoon.
If you're in Chattanooga this summer, learn how Chattanooga Lawn Care can service your lawn!
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