CHARLOTTE – Americans spend approximately $8.5 billion on lawn care annually. Even with this kind of investment it’s still highly likely many of us will experience an unattractive, unwelcome shade of brown on our once beautiful green lawn when the summer heat hits.
In fact, a brown lawn is completely normal and natural during this time of year. The fescues and Kentucky bluegrass varieties that grow well in Northern climates naturally go dormant over the summer months. These types of grasses go into hibernation to preserve energy. Once the cooler temperatures and higher precipitation of the fall returns the brown lawn returns to a beautiful shade of green.
You can keep your lawn green in the summertime by practicing the following techniques:
Mow high. For the fescues put your lawn mower on a higher setting leaving the grass around 3 inches high. Taller blades provide more shade for your lawn’s root system, which keeps it cooler during hot summer days.
Deep, regular watering. If you want a green lawn all summer long, you must water not every day, water your lawn deeply once or twice a week. One to one-and-a-half inches of water a week will keep your lawn green.
Water early in the day. Five o’clock in the morning is the perfect time for watering your lawn. Program your irrigation systems to water early in the morning, so your lawn will have enough time to dry out during the day, thereby preventing fungal diseases.
Mower maintenance. A poorly maintained mower will only harm your turf. Good mower maintenance includes sharpening the blades. Dull mower blades will tear not cut your lawn, leaving brown tips on the grass blades.
Repair spots caused by pet waste. When your pet does his business on the lawn, he is basically over-fertilizing that spot. There are lawn repair kits that can help you re-grow such brown spots in just a few days.
Apply fertilizer. During the summer the general rule of thumb is to fertilize your lawn every six weeks using a lower nitrogen content fertilizer between 10 and 14. This will keep your lawn green while preventing growth that is too fast.
Unfortunately, if your lawn has already turned brown, there’s not much you can do to bring the green back before fall. The key to success is to prevent this frustrating situation before it becomes a problem. Following these lawn maintenance tips listed above will provide you with the tools you need to keep that lawn green throughout the summer.