Preparing your lawn for summer: part 2

There's so much to do in the lawn when summer hits that we need a second article to cover it all! if you missed our first summer prep article, you can check it out here. This one covers more advanced techniques that will help elevate your lawn and keep it green and healthy all summer long. Lets jump in! 

Make a plan for areas with shallow root systems. 

Areas with shallow root systems will start to show stress first. In these areas, there’s usually something underneath your lawn preventing roots from going deep. For example, if you’re trying to grow grass close to a tree. Tree roots run close to the surface, which prevents the grass roots from going deeper. So you’ll either need to hand water these areas or give up and make it a mulch bed. Tree roots are also nutrient hogs, they will steal any nutrients you’re trying to give to your lawn. This is why trees often have surrounding mulch beds - and not grass. Bonus - a circular mulch bed surrounding a tree looks better! 

A freshly mulched tree bed on a well-maintained lawn, with a pile of mulch in the background.

Sharpen your mower blade.

Spring is especially hard on mower blades because the seed heads your lawn is putting out have a hard stock. These seed heads are all over your lawn, so the blade will become dull very quickly. A dull blade will tear the grass instead of giving it a nice clean cut. This tearing of the grass blade will invite disease and fungus during the summer months.  It’s recommended to sharpen mower blades twice a year, at the end of spring, and about the middle of fall. June and October. 

It’s really not that hard to sharpen the blade. You can take off most mower blades with a socket wrench. From there you have a couple options; you can either get an all purpose file ($10 from a hardware store) or just take the mower blade itself to the hardware store. Most hardware stores will sharpen blades for $10-$15. Keep in mind if you have a mulching mower you will have multiple blades. 

Close-up showing two pieces of cut grass blades on a dark surface.

a dull blade cut the grass the left. A sharp blade cut the one on the right. see the difference? 


Syringing is the process of running your sprinkler system for a few minutes when it’s exceedingly hot. Now we realize this flies in the face of most lawn advice - and the general guidance we give which is for deep and infrequent watering, but sometimes the environment is just too hot and your grass starts to go dormant and wilt. Especially areas that get a lot of sun. Golf courses practice this technique daily during the summer months.

It's really easy to do this. Just give your lawn quick shot of water from your irrigation system during peak stress hours. 4-5 minutes tops. The trick is not to do this too late in the day, or you’ll leave the lawn wet overnight, which will invite disease and fungus. As a rule of thumb, it's best to syringe in area of your lawn that will get at least one more hour of sun after you are finished irrigating. The sun will dry off the grass blade so the leaf blades do not stay wet going into the overnight hours.


Apply a Heat Defense pack 

Summer is not the time to fertilize cool season lawns with heavy doses of Nitrogen. Instead, getting bio-stimulants on your lawn at this time of year is going to increase your root mass and drive roots deeper into the soil in search of cooler temperatures and water. Check out our heat defense pack which adds two forms of bio-stimulants to help keep your lawn looking great. It can make the difference between a lawn that goes into dormancy for the next 100 days, or a healthy lawn that looks great all summer long.

Two Lawnbright products: Sea Green and Black Gold, along with a green hose attachment.
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