Summer in Iowa does not officially begin until June. However, the end of May marks the unofficial start of summer. Along with this comes the need for consistent summer lawn care.
There is no question about this if you want to keep a healthy lawn and there is a lot to begin with! So where do we start?
In the sweltering heat of summer, you can only go one of two ways with watering. Do nothing while the grass goes dormant or water during the dry days and keep your lawn grass active. Either of the two may be fine, depending on what you prefer. Dormancy isn’t at all bad. It is a coping mechanism of the grass.
The roots remain alive, while the leaves appear dried until the grass is restored by natural rainfall. Generally, it is good to water the lawn once or twice a week. Water deeply and water well. Avoid shallow showers. Apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water in a single application or three to four days apart. It is best to water your Des Moines, Iowa lawn early in the morning to let your grass soak it up before the sun becomes too hot, causing your water to mostly get lost in evaporation.
Mowing is best done when the lawn is starting to go green. It is dependent on the type of grass you are breeding, but generally, Iowa lawns are mowed at two inches in summer. Though mowing should be done regularly, the rule of thumb observed is to never cut off more than one third of the leaf blade.
For instance cool season grasses that thrive best during spring and autumn should be mowed at 3 to 3.5 inches only during summer. These types need the extra shade during summer. The higher the mowing height is, the better the shade it provides and the deeper the root growth it promotes. Any shorter than two inches injures the turf grass and weakens their ability to withstand the environmental factors of summer.
Should you apply chemicals in summer? It is up to you and the other natural factors surrounding your turf. You have tons of options. Around this time as it is mid-April, lawn fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicides may be a good idea. The next time you should go big on fertilizers should be in early autumn.
It is a good time to patch bare spots and overseed if necessary. Make sure your pre-emergent herbicide is applied after the grass seed is up so you don’t end up killing your grass seed. A good alternative is compost. If you have put together a good supply of compost, rake it over your lawn to feed it.
It does magic in improving your soil. Preventive pesticides may also come in handy during this season. If your lawn does not need pre-emergents or preventives and you usually wait and see for pest attacks or damage, then get your curative pesticides ready in the shelf. Infestations may come depending on the area and other environmental factors.
Schedule a free consultation with All American Turf Beauty and learn more about the dynamics of your summer lawn from the experts. For more expert tips, visit us at All American Turf Beauty or call us at 1-800-365-8873 and book an appointment with our lawn care professionals.