Coping With Summer Stress On Your Lawn

When summer begins, so comes the stress on your lawn from usual hot dry conditions. If you are to manage your lawn to keep it looking great, you need to use certain management practices and avoid others.

At this point, the time for planting grass is over, especially for cool season grasses. However, you can resume planting around the first of September.

Avoid fertilizing your lawn until about the first of September. Remember, fertilizer can't be utilized by grass in stressful conditions, which may be here sooner than you want. Actually, fertilizer will burn the grass if applied during those times.

Keep your grass mowed high--higher than you would cut it in the spring and fall. Taller grass will trap more valuable moisture in the soil and, just as importantly, prevent weeds from taking over like a lawn scalped.

Now, if there is a need to water, once a week with about one inch of water should be sufficient. But in the case of a drought, you might want to double that to two inches a week.

Remember that grass under a tree needs twice the amount of water because the tree roots will steal a good portion of the soil moisture under that tree. Actually, the doubling up on water also pertains to the amount of fertilizer applied in the spring and fall. Remember, you are watering and feeding for two.

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