How to Care for Your Lawn in the Summer

By Beth Krietsch

Between mowing, watering, and weeding alone, summer is an extremely busy time of year for maintaining a pristine lawn and garden. Fortunately, the warm weather makes this a pleasant time to head out and enjoy some quality time with your outdoor space. Check out our best tips for keeping your lawn in top shape throughout the summer.

Summer lawn care tips

1. Water

Regular watering is crucial for summer lawn care, especially when temperatures are scorching. The best time of day to water your lawns and gardens is early morning while the sun is still low and the temperatures haven’t spiked. The stronger the sun, the higher the evaporation rate, so it’s best to water early in the day. Aim to give your lawns about 1 to 1 ½ inches of water each week, but the exact amount will vary depending on the soil.

Keep in mind that it’s better to water deeply a few times each week than to water lightly each day. Irrigation systems are helpful in the summer for regular watering, but you can also use a sprinkler that’s set on a timer or water by hand with a spray nozzle attached to a hose.

2. Mow

During the heat of the day, your lawn is more likely to become damaged from mowing. For this reason, try mowing in the early morning or just as the sun is about to go down. You’ll be able to stay cool and your grass will stay far healthier. Consider trimming grass to a height that’s a bit longer than you’re used to—maybe about three inches long or a bit higher. Taller grasses develop deeper roots and also dry out less easily in hot weather. Letting grass grow a bit longer than you’re used to is also a good trick for keeping weeds at bay.

3. Mulch

Summer lawn care tip: use grass clippings as mulch to give your soil much-needed nutrients. As an added benefit, skipping the arduous task of bagging will save you tons of time and effort.

Check out our list of mulch alternatives as well.

4. Weed

You won’t need to worry much about attending to weeds until late in the summer or even the start of fall. In fact, it’s best not to use herbicides in the summer as your lawn will be under more stress at this time of year due to the higher temperatures. However, it’s still ok to spot remove some weeds, such as dandelions and clover, by hand. Remember that most of your weeding work will take place in the spring and fall.

5. Keep your lawn mower in top shape

Lawn mowers get a ton of use in the summer, and this means they require a bit of extra care around this time of year. Not only will maintenance keep your lawn mower running smoothly, but it will also extend it’s lifespan. Here are a few lawn mower maintenance tips to keep in mind throughout the summer:

  • Make sure the blades are sharp throughout the season so they cut cleanly. If they become dull, you’ll need to have them sharpened.
  • Replace the spark plug if you didn’t do so in the spring.
  • Add new gasoline and oil if you didn’t do so in the spring.
  • Keep gasoline on hand for refills.
  • Clean or replace the air filter if you haven’t done so in the spring.

6. Lower your standards (a bit)

We know, you want your lawn to shine 24/7, but it’s important to keep an open mind. Due to the hot temperatures of summer, it’s natural for many varieties of grasses to dry out and brown a bit in the summer. A brown lawn in the summer usually means the grass has gone dormant to conserve crucial nutrients. You can expect that it will turn green again once the temperatures cool. However, if the grass is super dried out and straw-like, it may be dying and require some intensive watering.

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