As we enter the dog days of summer, Madison WI could use a good thunderstorm.
My lawn is mostly brown, but conserving water is more important to me than having the lushest lawn on the block. Especially during a dry spell. However, I do want to make sure this lawn I’ve carefully nurtured through its first two years continues to thrive.
Here are 5 tips I’ve used to help my new lawn survive the summer scorch…
1. Mow lawns at a height of 3 – 3 1/2 inches
A long leaf shades and cools the crown of the grass where new growth sprouts. This mowing height also discourages turf diseases like summer patch.
2. When mowing, never remove more than a third of the total grass length
Removing more than a third of the grass blade weakens the blade making it vulnerable to additional stressors, such as dry weather or weeds. Based on Tip #1, you should ideally mow your grass when it’s approximately 4 1/2 inches high.
3. Mow in the cool of the morning or evening
Cutting grass puts physiological stress on the plant. Mowing during the hottest time of day compounds the stress.
4. Keep your mower blades sharp
Sharp blades provide a clean, healthy cut. Dull blades can tear and bruise the leaf tips.
5. Allow your lawn to go dormant
Lawns generally survive dry spells by going dormant. During dormancy, your lawn will most likely turn brown. Healthy lawns can survive in this dormant stage for 4 to 6 weeks without rain or irrigation. Your lawn will green up again with sufficient rainfall.
Photo courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net.