Summer is in full swing. Homeowners are able to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of their gardening labor. But, it’s important not to get into that “summer mindless mode” where taking care of your lawn takes a back seat to the summer barbeques and cookouts.
Knowing what type of grass you have is important to caring for your lawn in the summer. Most Michigan homes, including Ford House, have a blend of Kentucky blue grass in their yards. Kentucky blue grass lawns can survive extended periods of drought. It is mainly a cool season grass that will turn brown in the summer if not taken care of properly.
Proper watering, mowing and fertilizing methods are all it takes and you will have a healthy, lush lawn.
Watering is very important for this time of year. There have been record setting high temperatures. The little rain that the Grosse Pointe communities have received thus far has not been enough to keep lawns green. Ford House has the benefit of an irrigation system that pumps from Lake St. Clair, but not all homeowners have that same luxury.
The type of grass is dependent on how often it should be watered. It is recommended for Kentucky blue grass lawns get an inch of water per week. Be careful not to overwater your lawn as it may lead to excess growth, disease and the need for frequent mowing.
The best time to water your lawn is early morning between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. This allows the water to soak deeply in the soil. If you water mid-day, the water used will evaporate quickly in the heat and will not benefit the grass roots.
It is also important to check with your local city ordinances pertaining to water restrictions before watering your lawn.
The second most important summer lawn maintenance tip to remember is mowing. Around the Ford House, the landscape crew cuts at three inches. There are certain areas around the grounds that are mowed at a higher length. For example, the meadow is cut at four inches to promote deeper roots, this makes the grass blades more resilient to traffic and therefore, resulting in a healthier, green, lush lawn.
Look around in your neighborhood and spot green lawns. It is most likely they are cutting higher than two and a half inches. Anything below that is detrimental to your lawn and creates more work in the form of frequent cutting.
Using a fertilizer on your lawn during the summer months can sometimes burn the lawn. Instead, mulch the grass clippings back into the turf. Grass blades are mostly water and decompose quickly. The mulch returns up to 25 percent of the nutrients required by grass to grow. It’s important to remember that lawn clippings do not contribute to thatch buildup. Over-fertilization, improper irrigation and unnecessary pesticide applications all contribute to thatch buildup.