How to Keep Your Lawn Green in the Summer Heat - Backyard Boss
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How to Keep Your Lawn Green in the Summer Heat

During the summer, you likely want to spend lots of time enjoying your backyard. Yard work may be the last thing on your mind but looking out over a lush green lawn is well worth the work. The summer heat can really take a toll on your grass, so year-round lawn care is essential.

Is your grass burning? Maybe it’s turning yellow and brown. You may be wondering how to keep your lawn green in the summer heat. The grass will be greener on your side of the fence if you follow these simple tips.

1. Don’t Cut Too Short

a person mowing the lawn
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The biggest mowing mistake that leads to burnt grass is cutting too short. During the summer heat, aim to keep your grass between 3 to 4 inches. Adjust your lawnmower to its highest height setting. For push mowers, there’s usually a lever by one of the back wheels.

If you are unsure of how to adjust your lawnmower, check the manufacturer’s instructions. While you’re reading the manual, make sure you’re on top of the regular maintenance. Sharpening the blades, for example, is also important for a healthy lawn.

2. Don’t Mow as Often

Close up image of mossy and grassy lawn
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Resist the urge to mow on a weekly schedule. Grass grows at different rates depending on the type of grass, growing conditions, season, and amount of light and rain it receives. Because of that, you may have to mow weekly or only a few times over the entire summer.

During the summer heat, you want to be especially careful when you mow. Cutting your grass in the midmorning is usually best. You want to avoid mowing in the heat of the day, but you also don’t want to cut wet grass. If you mow right before a heatwave, you can end up with scorched grass. Even if your grass looks overgrown, you may be better off waiting until the heatwave has passed before mowing. 

3. Water

a water sprinkler on green grass near a green tree
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Ensuring your lawn is hydrated is crucial for a lush, green lawn. If you follow the first two tips, you will save yourself time and money, and your lawn shouldn’t need as much water.

When grass is longer it provides shade for the roots and ground, keeping the moisture in for longer. This mentioned, your lawn need about 1 inch of water a week. Water early in the day if you can, or in the early evening. Avoiding watering in the heat of the day; due to evaporation, water doesn’t have time to reach the roots in the midday heat.

If you are trying to save on water or your city has water restrictions in place, consider harvesting rainwater. Sprinklers can also be a helpful tool for watering large areas and during periods of drought.

Deep water every few days during hot spells, and once a week during warm periods to keep your grass green!

4. Fertilize

Pile of natural fertilizer bags Stacks In Warehouse, selective focus
Image credits: Thana Thanadechakul via Shutterstock

Fertilizing regularly is important for a green lawn, but you do need to be careful about timing. Do not fertilize during a heat wave as this may burn the grass. The nitrogen in the fertilizer encourages new growth despite the hot weather. Make sure to fertilize in spring and fall to help keep your grass green during the summer.

5. Weed

dandelions in the green grass
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Is it a weed? If it’s growing up in the middle of your green grass, you likely don’t want it there.

Dandelions might be the most common weed people see on their lawns; they can spread quickly, choking out, and taking over your grass. Luckily there are ways to remove them, from pulling weeds by hand, to herbicides or calling in the pros.

Not matter the type of weed, it’s best to remove them. So, get out your garden tools and start weeding!

6. Aerate

close up plugs from lawn aeration
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Aerating your lawn will help to keep it healthy and green. Making small holes in the ground allows water, sun, and air to reach the root system of your grass. This should be done yearly or every two years in the fall or spring. If you don’t have an aerator, you can also use a garden fork.

7. Keep Items Off the Lawn

round brown wooden table on lawn grass
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If you want to keep your whole lawn green, try to keep items off of it. It’s easy to forget a kiddie pool, a pile of weeds, or a table out on the lawn.

If you leave something on top of your grass for too long, you’ll likely soon discover a dead patch of grass. That’s because these items hide the grass from air and light, which are essential to its growth. 

8. Remove Pet Waste

dogs on grass
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Believe it or not, dog poop is not a good fertilizer. Dog feces contains too much nitrogen, which over time, can cause the grass to burn. Get scooping!

Because it too has a high concentration of nitrogen, dog urine can create dead spots in the grass, which can be harder to manage. If you are having trouble with urine spots, try having a designated spot for Fido to go.

9. Consider a New Variety

clover leaves
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If you’ve tried all the tips above and you are still struggling to keep your grass green, it may be time to choose a different variety. Make sure you pick a warm season grass that is tolerant to hotter summers, such as bermudagrass or zoysiagrass.

Or maybe you want something entirely different. Consider a grass alternative. Clover is particularly hardy and keeps its green color even in the summer heat.

Regular Maintenance is Key

Lawn care can be a lot of work, especially in the summer heat. Remember that it’s also perfectly fine to let your lawn go brown and dormant during the summer months.  

Whatever you decide, you now have all the tips and tricks needed to keep your lawn green throughout the hot months. 

How is your lawn surviving the summer heat? Share in the comments below!