Late summer is usually a pretty stressful time for lawn care. During the heat of late July and August, plants wither and die in the unforgiving temperatures and the lack of rainfall can make it difficult and expensive to maintain a garden or yard.
When plants don’t have the water they need because of the heat and dryness, they are much more susceptible to illnesses and infestations from insects or other pests.
However, the time just after this, later August into September, is considered some of the best time for lawns. This is because the cooler evening air holds more moisture that condenses into dew, watering the plants even without a lot of rainfall.
This kind of “Indian summer” can green up lawns before the inevitable browning that comes with winter and the cold season, provided that you take advantage of the optimal qualities of the late summer’s climate and temperatures.
We get many questions from our clients about how to do that, and we thought it was important additionally to explain how to avoid damaging your lawn into August.
Lawn watering during drought times
Even if our part of the country isn’t in a drought, watering your lawn during the dry season of the year can be very important. If you don’t, your lawn won’t just turn an unsightly shade of brown – it’s possible that, with enough dryness, the roots of the grass will die, and you’ll be forced to re-seed the ground in order to get your lawn to be green again next spring.
Watering your lawn can be expensive and time consuming, as the news from places like California will tell you. One thing you can do to help yourself to know that you’ll be prepared for a time of drought is to mix your grass types.
Although this can sometimes make for an uneven looking lawn, different grass types have different water requirements, and many other less-common types of grass can stand up to heat and dry weather better. This will be easier to keep green as a result.
Fortunately, brown patches are usually seasonal, so unless the drought is extended (like it has been in California) brown lawns don’t usually remain a problem.
Avoid watering at night
Although watering at night might seem like a good idea, this is definitely not the case. Watering your lawn at night might save a little water evaporation, but it opens you up to the risk of growing fungus, which is most active at night and needs water just like plants do.
Watering at night just creates a climate that makes it very easy for a fungus to grow, and this can cause serious problems for your lawn.
Aerate the lawn
Aeration is a process that breaks up the soil and introduces more oxygen to the environment.
This helps when the ground becomes very dry because it allows water to more easily reach the roots of the grass to deliver important nutrients. You can read more about lawn aeration here.
Weeding is important normally, but more so during a drought. Weeds are often better suited to hot environments, and they’ll steal the valuable water and mineral resources that you’ll want your grass and other plants to have.
Pests are also a contributing factor to the danger of dry seasons. Your plants will be weakened by the lack of water already, so protecting them from bugs is an important step to keeping your lawn safe.
Care for brown grass
As mentioned previously, brown grass is a seasonal problem, but it can become endemic if it’s not treated correctly. Mixing grass types and watering regularly are good ways to accomplish this.
Plan for the next season
Most lawns need to be re-seeded every once in a while, so getting a head-start on planting is usually a good idea. This is especially true during the August to September portion of late summer, when the growing conditions are ideal and your seeds can take root in a more-friendly climate.
At Fischer, we’re dedicated to helping our Gulf Coast homeowners acheive the lush, green lawn you desire; we’re available to assist you & answer any questions you may have, so give us a call today!
Filed in: Lawn Care