Optimal summer lawn maintenance varies from region to region, climate to climate, and by type of grass. Improperly “maintaining” your yard could lead to quite the opposite outcome and instead, you could be causing major damage to your lawn.
Mowing Your Lawn
Let us start with the basics! Mowing your lawn is a task that must be done, but are you accidentally harming your grass with your current methods? First and foremost, start out the season by ensuring your mower blades are sharpened. This is actually a task to do before the first time you cut your lawn for the year (read: in spring), so if it is summer and you haven’t, make sure to get on it right away. Dull blades do not give a clean cut when mowing and instead rip the grass, leaving jagged edges and discolorations in your yard. For summer maintenance in the Albany area, set your mower to cut a height of at least 3” in order to encourage proper root system growth and support as well as leaving a lush lawn behind. Keep in mind, also, that during more dry periods, you may only need to mow your lawn once every couple weeks whereas in more moist periods it may need mowing as often as twice each week.
In short, do not do it! For areas like Albany, New York, plant new grass around Labor Day. The typical conditions around this time are optimal for your newly-planted grass to take root and thrive. The seeds will germinate more successfully given the cooler conditions.
Watering Your Lawn
Believe it or not, there are optimal times to water your lawn, as well. Watering in the heat of the day can lead to the water drying or evaporating too quickly and your lawn not getting the nourishment it needs. Supplying too much water can also have the adverse effect of drowning your yard. There is no benefit to providing more water than the soil can absorb or your grass needs. Water deeply, but occasionally, and do so in the early morning or late evening. If experiencing a good amount of rain, watering your lawn is rendered unnecessary. A good rule of thumb for the area is roughly one inch of water each week needed for most lawns. Cool-season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, commonly found in the Albany area, can also go dormant for periods without actually dying. Yes, the grass leaves may turn brown, but the root systems will be still be alive. Dormancy is a natural survival mechanism for these types of grasses. And they will return to their lush, green selves upon the return of more favorable rain conditions or irrigation methods.
Another aspect of yard maintenance better left to the fall in Albany! If you are only out to fertilize once a year, fall is your best time.
Photo Credit: foothillpest.com
Weed and Pest Control
The best way to battle crabgrass is with a pre-emergent killer in spring as this does the most efficient policing of pesky weeds. The best time for applying herbicides to broadleaf weeds, however, is in the late summer (possibly into early fall). As for pest control, keep an eye out for grubs and other insects invasions during the summer. Your lawn can withstand a certain amount of attack by insects but seeing a grub infestation now means the damage was, in fact, already done. If you are killing grubs in spring and summer you are killing last year’s grubs! Wait, instead, until August and then treat for grubs. The most effective time is, counterintuitively, when you don’t actually see any! Late August to early September is their hatching season. Treating in August will help prevent a grub infestation for the following spring.
Summer lawn maintenance, as the term implies, is all about maintaining your lawn. Preventive and preemptive measures are most commonly made in spring and fall while summer is when you see the fruits of your labors. Take time this summer to examine your lawn and see what actions you need to take this fall and following spring to fix any issues that arise. Summer can be a great time for planning out the success of next year’s lawn. That is not to say, however, that summer doesn’t come with its own checklist of things to do! Make sure you are taking care of your lawn the optimal way for your climate and location and you will have the premier showpiece you desire!
We can totally handle all of this so you don’t have to worry about it. NVS Landscapes offers a number of Landscaping Services in Albany. Contact us using the form below if you’re interested in a quote, or give us a call: