Midwest Summer Lawn Care Guide

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.

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.

Other Summer Lawn Care Guide Advice

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.

  • Avoid applying weed killer in temperatures above 85 degrees, especially weed killers that say they protect grass. The combination of heat and weed killer will stress your lawn.
  • Perform grub control, like for June Bugs, around midsummer. They will lay eggs early in the summer for them to hatch in late summer. Applying a grub control in midsummer will ensure all the eggs are laid and you can eliminate them before they hatch.
  • Do not let summer toys, like kiddie pools, toys, bikes, etc., sit on your lawn for a length of time. Leaving items on your lawn will prevent growth and cause burn marks in your grass.
  • If you notice your grass starting to turn yellow in the spots where your dog is reliving himself or herself, rinse the grass patches out with water.
  • Try not to pull vehicles on your grass during the summer. That weight on your lawn will kill your grass and cause other lawn issues.
  • Consider adding stepping stones to high traffic areas of your yard. Frequent walking on certain grass patches in the summer can kill your grass.