Preparing your Lawn for Summer: June Edition

June is one of the most critical months in lawn care. As summer approaches, the rising temperatures and potential for drought can pose a significant challenge to maintaining your lawn. You're quickly approaching the time period lawn care pros call '100 days of hell'. In the summer, lawns suffer from slow growth, disease, fungus, and root system die off.

The steps you take in June are crucial to ensure it withstands the harsh conditions of summer. Here are some essential tips to help your lawn thrive even in the heat and dry spells.

1. Mow High and Often

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to prepare your lawn for summer is by adjusting your mowing practices:

  • Raise Your Mower Blade: Set your mower blade to the highest setting, typically around 3 to 4 inches. Longer grass blades provide shade to the soil, reducing water evaporation and keeping the roots cooler.
  • Frequent Mowing: Mow your lawn regularly, but avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height at a time. This reduces stress on the grass and encourages deeper root growth.

2. Water Wisely

Efficient watering practices are vital for lawn health during summer:

  • Water Deeply and Infrequently: Water your lawn deeply, providing about 1 inch of water per week. Deep watering encourages roots to grow deeper, making them more resilient to drought.
  • Early Morning Watering: Water your lawn early in the morning to reduce water loss through evaporation and to allow the grass to dry before nightfall, which helps prevent fungal diseases.
  • Check for Runoff: Ensure that the water is soaking into the soil rather than running off. If necessary, water in shorter intervals to allow better absorption.

3. Fertilize NOW

Proper fertilization in June can help your lawn handle the summer stress:

  • Use a Slow-Release Fertilizer: Apply a slow-release fertilizer that provides a steady supply of nutrients over time. This helps avoid rapid growth spurts that can stress the grass during hot weather.
  • Use a Liquid Fertilizer: Lawns attempt to put up a seed head in the mid-late spring, which takes a lot of energy. By June, nutrient levels need to be replenished quickly. A liquid fertilizer will quickly put those nutrients directly back into the plant because they can be absorbed by the leaf itself, which is faster than having to get into the root system. Try Lawnbright's Soil Saver Pack to protect your lawn from the heat all summer.

4. Control Weeds

Weeds compete with your grass for water and nutrients, making it harder for your lawn to survive the summer:

  • Hand Weeding: Remove weeds manually, ensuring you get the entire root to prevent regrowth.
  • Targeted Herbicides: If weeds are extensive, use a targeted herbicide. Be cautious with herbicide use in hot weather, as it can stress your lawn. For a natural option that won't harm your lawn, check out our Pulverize Weed Control.

6. Mulch and Mulch Mow

Mulching and mulch mowing can provide additional benefits to your lawn:

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as grass clippings or compost, to help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and moderate soil temperature.
  • Mulch Mowing: Leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing. They decompose quickly, returning valuable nutrients to the soil and helping to retain moisture.

7. Monitor and Adjust

Regular monitoring and adjustments are key to maintaining lawn health:

  • Check Soil Moisture: Use a soil moisture meter or simply dig a small hole to check moisture levels. Adjust your watering schedule based on the soil’s needs.
  • Inspect for Pests: Keep an eye out for signs of pests such as grubs or chinch bugs, which can damage your lawn. Early detection and treatment can prevent significant damage.

By ticking through this list in June, you’ll be setting up your lawn to endure the summer heat and drought with greater resilience. A well-prepared lawn not only looks beautiful but also requires less maintenance and water, making it a sustainable choice for the hot months ahead.

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