Higher temperatures are hard on lawns and gardens. Some minor adjustments in lawn care counteracts this stress and protects your lawn. Here is a simple plan to reduce strain on your lawn during hot, dry weeks:
- Adjust cutting height on your lawnmower to a higher setting. Taller grass plants help retain moisture and provide shade for the soil.
- Mow early in the morning when grass is damp or on days when rain is in the forecast.
- Avoid trampling highly stressed grass. Grass is most stressed next to streets, driveways and sidewalks. The heat from these surfaces damages the root system of your lawn. Often, we turn our mowers around on these areas. When possible, turn on the street, driveway or sidewalk. Always avoid making multiple passes over the same areas.
- If you choose to water your lawn, optimize the effectiveness of irrigation systems. Irrigating before sunrise allows water to soak the soil surface. Water is not lost to evaporation and runoff.
- If there are areas that are annually plagued by high sun and poor growth, consider planting trees, shrubs or even hardscape features. Removing highly stressed areas will promote a stronger root system throughout your entire lawn.
- Loosen mulch around trees and shrubs. After a spring and early summer of heavy rainfall, mulch beds are compacted. Loosening the mulch in these beds cools the roots of trees and shrubbery.