The lawn needs mowing this summer, but probably not as often as it did in spring. You will want to continue mowing using the one-third rule (cutting off no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade), but the grass will be growing more slowly. You may also want to cut the lawn a little higher in the summer. This helps provide more shade to the crown of the plant during the heat of the day. It also helps encourage deeper rooting which means they have more access to moisture. A thicker lawn is also less prone to insect, disease and weed pressures. The grass plants crowd everything else out and rejuvenate much quicker if they are attacked.
Besides mowing practices, you can keep the lawn healthy with proper fertilization. If you missed the spring feeding window, use fertilizers designed for summer or anytime use such as GreenView Lawn Food with GreenSmart or Lebanon ProScape 9-2-5 Fertilizer with Iron. Either would be an excellent choice. These contain nutrients that release slowly and will not produce a flush of growth that would require moisture that might not be present.
Here are some additional tips that will provide a healthy lawn and its attendant benefits.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn. The grass blades break down quickly and put nutrients that are in the leaf blades back into the soil.
- After fertilizing or mowing, sweep any material that gets on driveways and walkways back into the lawn.
- Keep an eye out for lawn diseases. See accompanying article in this issue – Spots on leaves signal disease – for more information.
- If any weeds do find their way into your lawn one option is to dig them out. If you dig them out, make sure that you dig down below the base of the plant to get as much of the root as possible. Another option is to treat with Lebanon Broadleaf Weed Killer with Trimec.
- Watch for insect infestations even if the lawn is lush and green. If your lawn becomes infested with more than 6 grubs or other soil insects per square foot it should be treated. Lebanon ProScape Fertilizer with Merit will do the job.
- Check your lawn mower blade after each mowing to make sure it is sharp and not nicked on the cutting edge. A dull blade shatters the leaf blade and opens it up for easier disease penetration. Get the blade sharpened if it needs it before your next mowing.