Your lawn reaches its peak growing potential during the summer, when a combination of sunshine and warmer weather helps to boost grass production. The warmer season also presents its own challenges to the homeowner. Several management strategies can tackle season-specific problems like increased moisture loss to help ensure a healthy and lush lawn, all year round.
The water needs of lawns go up in the summer as the warmer weather causes increased water use by the turfgrass and more moisture evaporation from the soil. Gardeners should supply sufficient water for the specific turfgrass species being reared, since this varies by grass. For example, bermudagrass is more drought-tolerant than St. Augustine Grass. General signs of drought stress include wilting and a blue-gray hue to the grass. When water is supplied, enough should be given to moisten the dirt to a depth of 8 inches.
Most grass species have a range of acceptable mowing heights. For example, Bermuda grass is typically trimmed at a height of 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches, depending on the specific cultivar. In the summer, homeowners should trim grass to the maximum height recommended for the specific species. This helps reduce water loss during summer's longer, sunnier days.
Summer annuals like crabgrass rear their ugly head in lawns starting in May and June. Such weeds can be prevented using a pre-emergence herbicide like oryzalin or pendimethalin. These stop weed seeds from germinating while not harming your pre-existing turfgrass. Homeowners should follow the specific herbicide product's labeled guidelines when handling the chemicals, since toxicity varies by product.
The end of summer is a prime time for aerating the lawn, as thatch and extensive soil compaction may have built up during the spring and summer growing season. This also helps to prepare the turfgrass for the next year of growing.