Summer can be a difficult time to keep our lawns healthy + happy. Sometimes the rain refuses to come, other times we are away on vacation for a few weeks and have to leave everything untended. Whatever your summertime lawn worries are, we have some tips to help you keep your lawn looking great this season!
Don’t Mow too Low
We understand that it can be tempting to mow your lawn as low as possible to increase the time between mows. While this is a good practice for your personal time off the lawnmower, it is harmful to your grass, and here’s why: “Taller grass provides more shade, keeping weeds from germinating and competing with your grass… Warm-season grasses should be cut to 2–3 inches tall, while cool-season grasses should be mowed at 3–4 inches. As a general rule, try not to cut more than ⅓ of the grass blade each time you mow” (This Old House). Most Minnesota lawns are made up of cool-season grasses, so set your mower at about 3 ½” so your grass can thrive!
Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp
Sharpening your mower blades might be the last thing on your “want to do” list, but trust us, your lawn will thank you. Mowing your lawn with dull blades does more damage than you might realize: “A dull mower blade tears grass, creating ragged, brown edges that provide an opening for disease organisms. Sharpen your mower blade regularly. The rule of thumb is that a sharp blade lasts for 10 hours of mowing. Consider purchasing a second blade so you’ll always have a sharp blade at the ready” (BioAdvanced). If you don’t want to sharpen your blade yourself, you can bring them into most small engine repair shops or hardware stores to get the job done right.
Leave Your Clippings
It can be tempting to rake or sweep up your clippings after you mow so that you don’t track all the grass pieces into your house, but believe us, you want to let those clippings do their work on the lawn. According to Scotts, the grass clippings break down and actually fertilize your lawn!
We would love to be able to count on Mother Nature to provide our lawns with the water they need to thrive, but as we know too well, that doesn’t typically happen. To keep your lawn happy, you need to keep it watered on a consistent schedule. “… the best way to maintain a healthy summer lawn is to water it deeply and infrequently. Thorough watering once or twice a week is better than frequent, light sprinkling… In the summer, plan to water your lawn once a week for about an hour to give your lawn an inch of moisture… You can measure the depth of the water by how easy it is to push a dowel or screwdriver into the earth to the proper depth. Too hard – water deeper. Too easy – you may be overwatering your lawn” (TruGreen). The easiest way to remember to water your lawn is to set a reminder on your phone for at least one day a week. If you’re going to be gone on vacation, water it twice the week before you leave so it has enough retained moisture and you should be just fine!
We hope these tips help you to achieve a healthy, lush lawn this summer that you are proud to show off to your neighbors.