Summer heat in the Midwest is vicious for everyone to bear, but your lawn undergoes the most damage from the heat. With infrequent rainfall, heavier use from people walking on it, and mowing mistakes, your lawn can become dry and dead by mid-July. When you know what care your lawn needs during the summer months, you can prevent dead brown grass during your summer get-togethers. Learn from our Midwest summer lawn care guide.
This is the rule all year long, but especially in the summer you should not mow more than 1/3 of your grass blades at a time. Mowing only 1/3 of your grass height will keep your blades healthier and stronger throughout the heat of the summer.
During the summer it is also important to raise your mower blades up and try to keep the grass a little bit longer. Not only does lush grass feel great on barefoot summer feet, but leaving blades a little long will help the grass grow drought-tolerant and deeper roots. This helps grass survive the lack of rain during the summer and prevents weeds from germinating. Lastly, the blades on your lawnmower should be sharpened regularly to cleanly cut grass without stressing the grass. The general rule of thumb is too sharpen blades every 10 hours of mowing.
There are many myths surrounding watering your grass during the summer months. Generally speaking, it is important to give your lawn at least one inch of water per week and to water early in the morning so the water does not evaporate. In addition keeping your grass long, it is better to water deeply and less frequently to make your grass more tolerant to long periods of droughts that come with summer.
The most important thing about watering is not to waste it if your lawn has already turned brown. Once you grass dies, it is done for the season and will regrow during fall. Trying to over water to bring it back will only increase your water bill.
If you are still fertilizing this late into summer, stop! For the best results, you should stop fertilizing your lawn 30 days before summer temperatures arrive. This is because adding fertilizer during the heat of the summer will actually burn your lawn. It can be tempting to try to fertilize a brown lawn to bring it back to life, but like watering this will do you no good.
There are a few other actions that can stress your grass during the summer months. Here are some other summer lawn care guide items that you can add to your lawn care checklist.