The heat of summer is tough on lawns, gardens and your lawn care equipment. From addressing the patches in your lawn, aerating mulch bed and cleaning your lawn equipment, We have a few tips to help you transition from the heat into the fall.
Touch Up Your Lawn
The 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.
- Raise Your Deck – Adjust cutting height on your lawnmower to a higher setting. Taller grass plants help retain moisture and provide shade at the soil surface.
- Early Bird – Mow early in the morning when grass is damp or on days when rain is in the forecast.
- Play Softly – 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.
- Water Wisely – If you choose to water your lawn, optimize the effectiveness of irrigation systems. Adjust sprinklers toward highly stressed areas and away from driveways and patios. Irrigating before sunrise allows water to soak the soil surface. Water is not lost to evaporation and runoff.
- Create Shade – 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.
Clean Up Mulch Beds
Mulch and flower gardens are important features for lawns. Beds retain moisture and maintain consistent temperatures for roots of shrubs, trees and other landscape plants.
- Aerate – Loosen mulch around trees and shrubs. Most mulch is added in early spring. A season of rainfall and rising temperatures may compact mulch beds. Loosening the mulch in these beds cools the roots of trees and shrubbery.
- Patch – After loosening compact areas, spread excess mulch into bare patches. Even distribution helps retain moisture through your beds. Adding mulch may be necessary.
- Clean – Removing weeds and debris eases stress on your plants.
Clean Up Your Lawn Equipment
Lawn equipment is susceptible to heat and dry conditions. A simple check up prevents major issues. If you haven’t performed a tune-up, some basic maintenance prevents major issues.
- Fuel – Do not allow fuel to age more than a few weeks. If you are mowing less frequently add the fuel in your container to car or truck. Old fuel is the primary cause for hard starting and poor performance.
- Air Filter – Airborne debris clogs air filters. Cleaning or renewing your air filter will keep your engine clean and cooler.
- Oil – Add or change oil to prevent overheating. Engine oil and hydraulic fluid on riding mowers protects expensive components.
- Blade – Sharp blades produce a clean cut across grass plants. A clean cut prevents nutrient and water loss.
- Belts – Change damaged and aging belts
- Wheels – Adjust loose, wobbling wheels. Adjust your cutting level to a high setting. These actions reduce stress on your grass.
- Clean Up – Clean debris from around the engine, belts and under the deck.