If your lawn is in need of some tender, loving care, now is the time to get it back into tip-top condition with some summer lawn maintenance.
Summer lawn maintenance 101: Keep it wet
You can’t always count on a summer storm to roll through and give your thirsty lawn a drink when it needs it. To keep your lawn hydrated and healthy, you’ll need to adopt a good watering routine in the drier months. Deep watering is a technique used to encourage the roots of your lawn to grow deeper, away from the top layer of the soil where heat and evaporation will damage them. Deepwater your lawn by watering less often, but for longer. The best time of day to deep water (or for any watering routine in summer) is either early in the morning, or late afternoon.
Tip: Wetting agents to help soil particles hold water for longer are also a handy trick for keeping your lawn wet. Check your local gardening store for options.
Source: Yard Day
Aerating and coring
Your lawn needs a breath of fresh air too. Aerating your lawn relieves soil compaction and will allow air, nutrients and water to get down to the roots (Briggs & Stratton). You can aerate your lawn using a spike aerator, or a plug aerator. A spike aerator is a tool used to poke holes in the ground, whereas a plug aerator is a tool that also removes a ‘core’ from the ground, creating bigger, deeper holes.
Tip: You can pick up super attractive, cheap spikey aerator shoes for a fast DIY lawn maintenance job. But if your lawn is in serious trouble, they may not be as effective as a plug aerator or corer.
Source: Law Aerator Reviews
If your lawn has already suffered the effects of heat and evaporation, you can still turn it around with a diligent care approach.
Top dressing: If your lawn is suffering from a poor care routine or lack of topsoil, it might be necessary to try ‘top dressing’. Top dressing involves spreading a blended soil mix over your lawn.
Patch work: Dying patches of grass can be saved by using products such as lawn repair if caught early enough. If it’s gotten down to bare dirt already, you might need to patch up parts with turf.
Tip: Lawn builder products can help promote growth in new and unhealthy lawns.
Source: Burke’s Backyard
Lawn maintenance: cutting
There are three key steps to an immaculate lawn cut: regular edging, whipper snipping and mowing. Do your edging and whipper snipping first, then finish off the yard by mowing with a sharp, high blade. Most people don’t know that cutting your lawn a little higher is actually a good thing; it helps suppress weeds and bindi growth (Coleby-Williams, J.) and provides protection against evaporation for the soil and roots (The Lawn Guide). Lawn care experts recommend not cutting your lawn any more than 1/3 of its length at a time (especially in summer) as the stress can actually cause more damage than good.
Get an Airtasker lawn care professional to give your lawn a great cut! They have all the rights tools, and they’re experts at edging, and cutting in and around trees and garden features.
Fertilising and weed and pest control
Because the heat of summer already puts your lawn under significant stress, using fertiliser, and weed and pest control at this time of year can be quite harsh. When applying fertiliser, do it in the mornings and use something natural or organic designed to ‘slow release’. Ensure you give you lawn a good drink afterwards, otherwise, it might burn. If required, keep weeds and lawn pests at bay by applying chemicals and pesticides, only as needed and directed.
Love our summer lawn tips? We’ve got more summer gardening tips where that came from!