Summer is a time for outdoor activities with family and friends and you want a lush, green carpet upon which to recreate. Maintaining lawn health in summer can be problematic for homeowners due to the hot and humid weather conditions. It’s a balancing act that can keep homeowners on their toes.
It’s critical to understand that different grass species have different mowing requirements. Some are best kept at 1.5 to 2 inches. Others, such as Bermuda grass, thrives when maintained at .5 to 1.5 inches and St. Augustine grass is happy at 3.5 to 4 inches.
Take no more than 1/3 of the height of the grass blades when you mow, never mow when the grass is wet, and always keep mower blades sharp. It ensures the grass is cut instead of ripped and torn, which opens the lawn to disease and insect pests. To avoid creating ruts and areas of uneven height and growth, it’s best to alternate the direction you mow each time.
Applying fertilizer should be done in the spring to supply lawns with the nutrients they need during the summer growing season. Fertilizing during the summer months is irresponsible and there are bans against applying fertilizer during certain months. Frequent rains wash it into waterways. It contaminates drinking water and creates a toxic runoff that can spawn algae blooms.
South Florida typically receives sufficient rainfall for lawns to thrive. However, there have been dry spells and the state has also experienced times of drought. Lawns need about ½ to ¾ of an inch of rain per week, depending upon the species that’s planted. If no rainfall is in the forecast, you’ll need to water. If you’re watering by hand rather than a programmable irrigation system, always water during cool, evening hours.
To save money when you need to water, you may want to consider rainwater harvesting. It prevents pooling and puddling, enhances drainage, limits runoff, and provides an alternative source of moisture if watering bans are enacted.
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