Beat the Heat! Temperatures have been skewing on the warmer side during these past summer months, and now thanks to the heat bowl that’s formed over parts of the U.S., they will continue to skyrocket. Heat bowls occur when moisture and high temps collide, and urban areas and much of the Midwest are facing the brunt of it. If you tend a lawn in this area, or if you’re just feeling the heat this summer, here is how you can protect it.
1. Forget Fertilization
Fertilization rarely receives a negative connotation, but think twice before over-fertilizing in extreme heat. Grass growing with the help of fertilizer mid-summer can appear tender and weak as the lawn consumes more than it can yield in the heat. If you overfeed your grass, as it grows, extra energy is required for it to flourish in hot conditions, further stressing your lawn. Excess fertilizer plus excess sun exposure can also lead to scorched spots in your yard.
2. Minimize Traffic
If all the neighbors come to your yard for summer socializing, the popular path may show signs of wear, especially as heat intensifies. Foot traffic on dry grass beats down the blades, preventing them from springing back. For dry, brittle lawns, consider laying stepping stones or even staking a “Keep off the Grass!” warning sign.
3. Water Right
Contrary to popular belief, you can overwater your lawn, even when temps are ranging in the 90s or above. If the soil in your yard remains constantly wet, the grass roots are unable to take in a sufficient amount of oxygen, leaving them weakened to disease. A rule to remember is “water deeply and infrequently.” You do not need to put out the sprinkler every day, even in high heat. A lawn only needs 1 inch of water per week, counting that week’s rainfall. A great, DIY way to gauge this is to place empty tuna cans (or measuring cups) in your yard at varying ranges away from your sprinkler. Check for an even distribution of approximately 1 inch of water, and you’ll know when to turn off the hose.
4. Bugs of Both Kind
Both insects and disease can be more prevalent during hot summer episodes. If a lawn is heat-stressed, common insect infestations include chinch bugs, sod webworms, armyworms, fire ants, and fleas. Fungal disease like mildew and brown patch can occur. To combat, keep nighttime watering to a minimum, and in severe cases, apply a fungicide on a mild summer day when the extreme weather has passed.
MOWZ Can Take the Heat! Use the MOWZ app today because we know that maintaining year-round health of your lawn is important. Great care will prepare your grass for sweltering summers, all the way from the roots to the tips of the blades. Start now, by ordering a MOWZ app. We’ll do the mowing while you watch from your kitchen window, sipping a cool drink.