How do you maintain grass in extreme heat?

July 04, 2018

The summer is definitely here – can your lawn handle it? We suggest the following tips in order to maintain a healthy lawn during extreme heat conditions.

Do not cut too short
One common mistake made by both homeowners and commercial landscape maintenance companies is cutting a lawn too short. If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants’ ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the proper height, however, grass develops stronger roots that support more vigorous plants that are more tolerant of stress. Keep in mind that different varieties of grass have different growth habits that directly relate to mowing heights.

Sharp blades are best
When grass is cut with a sharp mower blade, the plant will heal faster than when cut with a dull blade. Dull blades will actually tear the plant tissue, not cut it; this torn grass tissue will develop a brown appearance at the surface and may become more susceptible to stress and disease. Sharper blades will prevent a brown appearance and help to prevent further harm to the plant.

Leave the grass cuttings
Return the cuttings to the lawn by using a mulching mower. Cuttings are actually beneficial to the lawn, they act as a slow-release fertilizer for the plant as they decompose.

Limit how much you water
One collective misconception about maintaining grass in extreme heat is the necessity to over water. A general rule to keep in mind is that turf grasses do better managed on the dry side rather than wet. Another rule-of-thumb is to water “deeply and infrequently.” Water deeply to wet the entire root zone, and then do not water again until the grass is dry. To determine next watering time, simply “keep an eye on it.” If it starts to look dry, then water. While it is important to be adequate on hydration, do not water the grass daily, lawns need only one-inch of water per week, including rainfall.

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