Summer heat in Knoxville is unrelenting. As a result, many lawn owners rely on warm-season grasses and plants. But summer is also the main growing season when your lawn will achieve its peak health—an important preparation before fall arrives. Here are some summer lawn care tips to keep in mind.
The summer will involve less mowing if you already have cool-season grass. Due to its slower growth during this season, avoid mowing your lawn any more than once every 7 to 14 days. This would include lawns with fescue grasses or bluegrasses.
For warm-season grasses, they reach their maximum growth rate during the summer. Between May and August, you should mow your lawn only once every 4 to 7 days and never cut more than a third of its height at a time. Otherwise, you will shock your grass into needing more water and fertilizer.
It’s also recommended you use the grass clippings as mulch after you mow. This creates a natural fertilizer for the grass and reduces the amount of fertilizer needed per year by roughly a pound for every 1000 square feet. But don’t leave the clippings in clumps or else your grass will suffocate underneath.
For warm-season grasses, fertilizer is a necessity. Fertilizer is the most effective when grasses are at their peak growth rates, so it should be applied in early June and mid-July. They also should be nitrogen-only fertilizers, unless your soil is particularly low in phosphorus or potassium.
You can find this out by having your soil tested. If the results show that phosphorus and potassium levels are enough, then use nitrogen-only fertilizers for the whole year. Otherwise, excess nutrients will simply wash away as runoff into nearby local waterways.
Lawn owners have a tendency to water their grass around mid-day or after work, but it’s a bad idea during the summer. The sun evaporates the most water during this time and will leave your lawn parched.
Instead, water your lawn early in the morning instead. This will allow the maximum amount of water to soak into the soil and reach grass roots. But be careful not to overwater, or else you’ll overwhelm your plants.
Need help preparing your lawn? Visit our Knoxville lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Knoxville, we provide lawn care services to Tennessee cities, including Nashville, Memphis, Hendersonville, and Smyrna.
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