Autumn is the season to prepare your lawn for winter, while spring is meant to help prepare it for summer. Then what is summer meant for? Here are a few summer lawn care tips. Enjoying your lawn while it peaks in color, and helping it maintain its lush verdant appeal before the days are shorter and the nights grow longer. Here is a list of important summer lawn care tips curated with Michigan’s climate, soil, and critters in mind.
Four Summer Lawn Care Tips
Even with Michigan’s wet climate, natural rainfall in summer will not be enough to keep your grass hydrated. This is especially important due to the fact that the Great Lakes State is home to cool-season grasses. Their growth period begins in early spring and they stay green well into autumn, but without adequate water, they will go dormant prematurely in the middle of summer. The ideal time to water your lawn is early morning or early afternoon, as the cold evenings can lead to fungal growth on wet grass. If you are less concerned with maintaining the color and more concerned with keeping the grass alive then a ½ inch every two to three weeks will suffice. When it is particularly hot and dry you should lightly water it on a regular basis, totaling roughly a ½ inch to 1 ½ inches of water per week.
Weeds that are untouched during the summer lead to seeds in the fall, and those seeds will sprout come next spring. They are more likely to grow in areas where the grass is weaker such as dry spots. To prevent this, pre-emergent weed control in late spring or early summer will create a barrier at or just below the soil’s surface and attack them as they attempt to germinate. If you are already grappling with weeds, post-emergent weed control in the summer will kill the weeds which have already germinated by slowing their growth until they die off.
Frequent mowing in the summer is crucial for a healthy lawn. Taller grass will grow sturdier roots and is better at resisting drought by slowing down evaporation, which keeps the soil moist. They also provide better shade to the soil, preventing the germination of weed seeds. However, if the grass grows too tall then nutrient absorption is thrown off because distribution is uneven. Keep the grass height between two to three inches and remove no more than ⅓ of the growth at a time. Mow higher by raising the blades to three to four inches to help it maintain those drought-resistant properties. Always keep your blades sharp so they can make a clean slice, rather than yank and tear at the grass. Damaged grass becomes brittle and more susceptible to disease. Be sure to leave the clippings on your lawn, as they provide additional nutrients and nitrogen to benefit the turf.
Watching for Grubs
Grubs are one of the most common pests in Michigan lawns in the summertime. Though tiny they can cause significant amounts of damage to your lawn if allowed to thrive. Japanese Beetles and European Chafers lay eggs in late June, and the eggs hatch in early July. Lawns that are properly cared for are less likely to suffer from their feeding due to sturdier, deeper roots and stronger blades. Signs of grubs include oddly shaped dead patches, visible larvae, and more frequent visits from other critters like skunks and raccoons.
Pesticides can be used as a preventative but if you see signs of grubs, it is recommended to take action right away before your entire lawn suffers. If you need help with grub control, contact us today for an estimate on our grub control services.