Tackle Outdoor Projects with These Lawn Care Tips for Summer from STIHL
Bald spots in your lawn make it more vulnerable to summer heat. Thick grass will better hold moisture, resulting in a greener lawn with stronger roots that will survive heat and humidity. Here are some ways you can address thinning grass and keep your lawn green this summer:
Battling Bald Spots
- Inspect your lawn for noticeable bare spots. Grass growth can sometimes be spotty on sloped land and undulating areas due to water run-off and puddling.
- Use premium seed and a topsoil/organic, nutrient-rich compost to help the seed germinate and keep it from being washed away, blown away or eaten by birds. Dress the bare spots with approximately one inch of compost and then hand spread the seed, covering about 40% of the area. Use a kitchen broom (not a rake) to gently mix the soil and seed together. Fertilizing grass in summer can keep it healthy and growing strong.
- Water these newly seeded areas twice a day for the first few weeks to ensure the soil stays moist for maximum germination.
Surviving Summer Rain: While spring is typically associated with heavy rainfall, sudden summertime storms can leave your yard just as waterlogged. Here are some tips to help you deal with a deluge of rain:
- Try to avoid walking on wet or damp grass, as it is likely to damage it. Wait until water levels have completely subsided and you can walk on it without leaving wet footprints.
- If you want to mow the lawn once it has dried out, set the mower blades to the highest possible cutting height. Do not attempt to mow a wet or saturated lawn as you risk compaction and ruts. And obviously, do not use an electric lawn mower in damp or wet conditions.
- Identify the low areas of your lawn most vulnerable to flooding and work to even out the ground or improve drainage.
Best Mowing Practices:
- Mow High: Studies have shown that mowing at a height of at least three inches yields a healthier yard than one mowed at one or two inches.
- Mow Often: When you mow your lawn often, you are promoting a lusher, more uniform lawn. How often is enough? That depends on how quickly your grass grows. Ideally, you should remove no more than a third of the grass length with each mowing. This will result in smaller-sized clippings, which act as a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
- Mow Differently: Vary your mowing direction each time you mow to keep your grass looking straighter. Change it up each time, moving north to south, east to west or diagonally to promote straight growth.
- Mow Maintenance: After mowing is complete, check your yard for any remaining clumps of grass clippings. Remove these clumps to prevent them from blocking nutrients to your lawn.