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Prime Time for Lawns to Shine: Summer Lawn Care Basics

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

New to lawn care? Here's your starter list for summer. An old pro but need a refresher? The following summer lawn care basics can help preserve your lawn, conserve water, and make the most of your summer yard work efforts.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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  • You don't cut hair with dull scissors. So don't mow your lawn with dull lawnmower blades. How do you tell if they're dull? As you're mowing, take a look at your progress. If the mowed lawn appears white or frayed at the tops of the blades of grass, your blades could use sharpening or replacement. Your local hardware store should have information on blade sharpening, or offer the service.
  • Keep your "scalp" healthy. Scalping a lawn means cutting it too short. Experts recommend you raise your lawnmower height to 3-3.5" for a healthy summer cut. Go ahead and let it grow a little. It will thank you.
  • You eat dinner around the same time every night. So water your grass around the same time. During the summer, setting automatic sprinklers to run during nighttime hours is a good idea. If you don't, just wait until the sun goes down and the temperature cools. Around one inch of water per week is what most lawns need during summer months.
  • Summer is puberty. Remember those inches you sprouted during junior high? That's like summer for your grass. The warm weather makes your grass grow more rapidly than during any other season, so take advantage. If you're thinking about planting new lawn or facing those pesky brown patches that have taken over your front or back yard, now is the time.
  • Don't get lost in the weeds. Summer weeds are tougher than spring or fall weeds. They typically grow more quickly and are more aggressive. For these summer pests, use a weed control product that contains "carfentrozone." And do it soon--some experts say late August is the best time for this type of product. If you wait until the weather cools, their roots may be deeper and your task could be larger.

Following these simple tips during the last few weeks of summer will help your lawn stay healthy, green, and ready for fall.

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About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.



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