How to keep a healthy lawn this summer.
Maintaining your lawn in the summer months can be tricky. For starters, you have to contend with the unpredictability of the British weather. Not only that, but the increase in temperature and likely reduction of rainfall alone can present you with many challenges. And that’s not even considering the potential for summer-specific lawn diseases!
Summer is the time when most of us want to get outside and get the most use of our lawn and garden. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips for making sure your lawn looks its best when you do.
Summer lawn mowing tips
There are several things that will help you to maintain the quality and health of your lawn during the summer months. Firstly (and most importantly) when mowing, don’t cut your grass too short. The shorter the leaf – the faster moisture is lost from the plant. Ideally, that means that you should be maintaining a grass height of between 25-30mm, whilst ensuring that your mower blade is kept sharp to prevent any unnecessary stress and damage to the grass plant. We also recommend that wherever possible, you should be removing all grass cuttings to prevent the build-up of organic matter on the lawn surface, which can cause your lawn to suffer from lawn thatch. It is also important to make sure that you are mowing your lawn in various directions to allow for even growth of the grass plant and give the lawn an improved appearance.
Summer fertiliser application tips
The application of balanced fertiliser is also necessary for maintaining good levels of photosynthesis, chlorophyll production, and a vibrantly green leaf. After each application, we also advise watering the lawn. This will not only prevent the grass from scorching in the sun but will allow the fertiliser to reach and be taken up by the roots. If watering isn’t an option for you, then you may need to defer fertiliser application until rain is forecast, which thankfully is likely during British summertime.
Tips for applying weed killer in the summer months
Where the application of weed killer becomes necessary, remember to apply the product early in the day ahead of the higher temperatures. Using weed killers later in the day can lead to poorer and ineffective weed control because much of the product can evaporate due to the higher temperatures.
Preventing the spread of lawn diseases like Red Thread
During the summer months, it’s important to keep an eye out for the spread of lawn diseases, especially during periods of prolonged rainfall. In most cases, diseases can be treated easily due to early identification, preventing excessive damage and reducing the recovery period needed. But this will require you to stay alert.
One of the biggest diseases to keep your eyes peeled for is Red Thread. One of the most common lawn diseases in the UK, Red Thread is easily identifiable due to the irregular red patches it leaves on the lawn. It is a disease that can occur at any time of year but is far more common during the summer months – particularly when the turf is deficient in nitrogen. Red Thread also favours damp, shady, poorly aerated and compacted soil, making it all the more important to properly fertilise and aerate your lawn. Red Thread will not generally kill the grass plant but does give an unsightly appearance to the leaf, spoiling the appearance of the lawn. Not what you want when planning some time outside, or having some people over for a garden party!
At TruGreen, we will identify diseases whilst they are still small and treat them before they cause serious damage. Our extensive experience has shown that a lawn thrives after regular treatment and by offering a bespoke service, we will customise our treatments to suit your lawn.
Dependent upon the severity of the Red Thread, the damage can be treated by applying a high nitrogen fertiliser, along with the use of a contact fungicide. Should the damage be sufficient enough to warrant overseeding, be sure to water your lawn daily until germination is complete and the new grass has started to establish, as a lack of watering is likely to produce an uneven grass cover.
TruGreen General Top Tips for Summer
- Apply the correct fertiliser to manage warm weather conditions
- Maintain the grass height between 25-30mm
- Apply a fungicide at the first signs of disease
- Apply irrigation when necessary during the cooler part of the day to prevent evaporation
- Achieve a great lawn this summer by consulting your local TruGreen lawn expert.
Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer