Is the Heat Killing Your Yard? How to Keep It Alive & Thriving This Summer
Taking care of your yard in a hot environment is much more difficult. In milder climates, you have a cool, wet spring to revitalize your lawn before the summer comes. In a warm climate, the summer is longer, hotter, and moisture dissipates more quickly. What you often wind up with is wide patches of brown, dying grass. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to deal with the heat and keep your lawn green.
Pick the Right Grass
It’s important to select the right type of turf for your soil and climate. High temperatures and low moisture can severely stress grass that was developed for milder climates. Try to learn the type of grass that’s doing well. For new planting, kikuyu grass is very aggressive in most soils. Native species like kangaroo grass are often a safe bet. You might try planting several different varieties in patches and watching how they progress.
Plants can go into a shut-down mode if there’s not enough water. The grass shrivels and turns brown, even if it is still alive. Watering every day isn’t necessary. More water every few days is better than a quick daily sprinkle. The excess water will soak into the ground and be available to the grass, whereas light watering will tend to evaporate and be wasted. To minimize loss, water in the cooler mornings and evenings.
In the heat, it’s important to keep the grass at the right height that will give it the best chance of survival. Mowing too high can mean that lower grass doesn’t get enough sunlight. Grass cut too short means fast evaporation of moisture and drying and scorching from the hot sun. In the summer, try to keep grass height at about 3.25 inches, or 8 centimeters. A quality riding mower, like those from Cox Mowers, can make this much easier in the summer heat.
Monitor Food and Health
Use a slow-release fertilizer recommended for your grass type. Like water, use it at cooler times to avoid loss from the harsh sun. Summer is also the time when insects and plant disease can spread. If there are brown spots that aren’t improved by careful watering, it could be an infestation. Either remove the diseased turf or find a suitable grass treatment product.
Don’t forget that plants are living things. Grass needs water, sunshine, and nutrients to remain healthy. It just requires a little more attention and sound planning in the heat.