How To Look After Your Lawn During The Summer
The summer is the best time of year to host garden parties, from the classic summer buffet to the fun family BBQ. But with so many activities on the social calendar, your summer lawn care can easily take a back seat until it is too late to recover. In this guide, we will cover all the areas you should keep an eye on from June through to August to make sure that your lawn stays green and lush the whole summer through.
How Often Should You Mow the Lawn in the Summer?
When you first start cutting your lawn, you should take a couple of weeks to gradually reduce the cutting height of your lawn mower. This prevents the grass from getting stressed. As a rule of thumb, never cut more than one third of the length of the grass blade in one go.
Once the grass is at the height you desire, mow once a week to maintain it. 2-3 cm (or 1 inch) is a good height for a summer lawn to stay tidy. This is usually the lowest setting on your lawn mower.
However, in hot weather, shorter grass may expose the soil and dry it out. If this is the case you should either water the lawn more frequently – preferably early in the morning or towards sunset – or leave the grass a little longer.
Should You Use Summer Grass Fertiliser?
Summer lawn feed is a great way to ensure that your lawn has all the nutrients it needs to grow strongly. But a summer lawn treatment isn’t the only way to ensure that your grass stays in good condition.
Why You Should Leave Grass Cuttings on the Lawn?
Fertiliser is usually what you would turn to if your grass is looking undernourished. However, it easy, free and just as nutritious to leave fine grass clippings on the lawn instead.
Spread out thinly, these clippings offer lots of nitrogen to your lawn and will decompose quickly without causing any damage. However, you do need to take care to do this properly as leaving clippings in thick patches during wet weather can lead to mould and other diseases.
How to Spread Grass Cuttings on the Lawn
You could rake up lawn clippings, mow over them again to chop them finely and then spread them over the lawn more thinly yourself. There are also specialist mulching lawn mowers that cut the grass extremely finely before they eject the grass clippings onto the lawn.
Alternatively, you could let the Flymo Robotic Lawnmower 1200R do all the hard work for you by finely chopping the clippings and returning them to the soil - you don’t even have to push the mower around!
How Often Should You Water the Lawn in Summer?
There are no set rules for how often you should water your lawn but when the warm weather hits, it is likely that you will need to water a couple of times a week to keep your grass lush and green.
What Time of Day is Best For Watering?
Watering the lawn in the early morning is the best time because the soil will have a chance to soak up the water before it evaporates. Watering in the early evening is also an option, but it may come with a chance of mild dew and other problems later on in the season, towards autumn.
How Much Water Should You Use?
Around 2-3 cm (1 inch) of water over the whole lawn is about the right amount. You need to water deeply to encourage strong root growth. This is why a good soak a couple of times a week better than a light sprinkle every day.
Dealing with Weeds
You can use a lawn friendly weed killer in the spring and summer if you wish. This is fine while your lawn is growing vigorously, but you shouldn’t make it a habit.
The best idea is to deal with weeds at the beginning and end of the season. Feeding, aerating and scarifying the lawn will deal with weeds effectively without risking the grass itself.
Dealing with Summer Lawn Pests
Leatherjackets and chafer grubs can cause gardeners some problems in the summer. Both insects feed on grass roots and can cause bald patches in the lawn. You may notice that birds start pecking at the lawn or the soil is raised and looks like it has been ploughed. You can more information on lawn pests via our separate blog post.
The simplest solution is to buy nematodes. These are tiny worms that live in the soil naturally. Increasing their population will rid you of the pests without adding chemicals to your lawn. Just follow the instructions on the packet and then reseed or patch where necessary.
How to Repair Summer Lawn Damage
In the hot summer sun, your lawn can quickly dry out and discolour. If you are left with bald patches in your lawn, you will need to repair it quickly.
There are two ways to do this.
- Gently rake over the exposed area to loosen the soil
- Scatter grass seeds at half the recommended rate
- Rake over again and water in
In around 10 days, the seed will sprout.
Patch in turf
If your lawn has a very bald area or is diseased, it may be best to simply replace the turf. You can either cut a section from an area where it won’t be missed or buy fresh turf.
- Use a spade to cut around the dead section and lift it up
- Rake the soil below
- Cut your turf to fit the area snuggly
- Press the section of turf in, making sure the edges meet neatly
- Press the sides in with your heel or the back of a rake
- Water in using a fine rose on a watering can
With this method, you will have instant lush green grass once more.
Plan to grow a new lawn
The summer is not the best time to grow a new lawn but there are some things you can do to prepare for autumn sowing.
- Remove weeds by digging them up or using weed killer
- Use string to mark the location of the new lawn
- Dig over the area, breaking up clumps for a smooth surface
Come autumn, the area will be perfect for you to sow your grass seed.