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Summertime Lawn Care

by Francine Huff, All About Lawns Columnist

Summer lawn care is important, but make sure you don't overdo it. During the hottest months, grasses may become semi-dormant, making them more vulnerable. Keeping your grass lush and green will involve some summer lawn maintenance--the following tips will show you what to do and when to do it.
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Don't Stress Your Lawn

Grass doesn't grow as fast during the summer months, so you probably won't need to mow it as often. Make sure your blades are sharp and will produce a clean cut of about 2 to 2.5 inches. Try to avoid letting grass get too tall, but once it does it's better to shorten it gradually through several cuttings rather than all at once.

Grass can lose its moisture through the cut tips if your area is experiencing extreme heat or drought. The wheels of your mower and heavy traffic on the grass can also stress your lawn to the point where you may have to do some lawn maintenance to repair it in the fall.

When to Water Your Lawn

Many people think they have to frequently water their lawn to keep it green and healthy. But if you've practiced good lawn maintenance throughout the year you might not need to water it much during the summer months. If you don't want to lose grass during extremely hot, dry weather, it's best to water it early in the morning. This allows the water to evaporate during the day and prevents damage to the lawn. If you use an irrigation system, moisten the ground to at least 4 inches. However, keep in mind that your local government may restrict the use of water for lawn care in the event of a serious drought or water shortage.

Regular Lawn Care Helps Avoid Problems

If you have a problem with insects you can treat it as needed, but it's important to evaluate the problem so you'll choose the right course of treatment. You may need to call in a pro to deal with a major infestation. If your grass becomes diseased, there's probably not much that you can do, and you'll probably have to repair your lawn during late summer or fall. If your lawn has weeds popping up all over, herbicides or hand weeding down to the root can help you regain control.

When to Fertilize Your Lawn

Summer is generally not the right time to fertilize your lawn. When you fertilize a lawn in the summer it may make the grass more vulnerable to heat and drought. Wait until fall to apply fertilizer. A slow-release fertilizer will deliver nutrients at a slower pace throughout the season.

Good lawn care doesn't happen over night, but with the proper planning and techniques you can have a nice field of green that can be enjoyed for a good part of the year.

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About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.



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