How to keep your lawn looking good in the heat

Four steps to summertime yard care.

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A green healthy lawn, with the edge of a lawn mower showing in the left of the photo.

Caring for your lawn in the heat of the summer means mowing less, knowing when to water and skipping the fertilizer. — Photo courtesy OceanFishing/thinkstock

Here in the Kootenays we seem to have such a short time to enjoy our growing season. But in that short time the sun can be hot and intense, causing our lawn to turn brown and dry out very quickly. 

If you want an lush green lawn all summer, what are some steps you can take?

  • How to water

While this seems to be a no-brainer, water is the most effective way to keep our grass green and lush. But be careful not to overwater. Keep an eye on the dry spots and give them a little more attention. A general rule is that a lawn only needs one inch a week of water, including rainwater, to keep it healthy.

  • When to water

The time of day you water makes a big difference. The best time to water is during the early morning, from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Watering in the evening will saturate the lawn, causing you to have too much water and actually drowning your lawn, leaving it susceptible to disease.

Of course, watering in the heat of the day isn’t the answer, as the water will simply evaporate.

  • Leave it long

Longer grass absorbs water better. Set the blade on your mower a little higher (three inches or more) and mow less often. Use a mulch blade on your mower; it will cut the grass a few times before dropping it back on the lawn. The grass will appreciate the extra shade and moisture.

  • Skip the fertilizer

By not fertilizing in the hot weather, you not only help the environment, you help your lawn. Fertilizer needs a lot of water to be effective, and without water it will actually burn your grass chemically. Keep the fertilizer in the bag for the hot summer months.

Looking after a lawn is something that starts long before the heat hits. Generally, if a lawn is healthy going into the summer months, it will withstand the heat much better.

Kimberly Shellborn

Kim is the editorial coordinator at Koocanusa Publications. She recently returned to the Kootenays after 15 years in Spain, where she taught English and got to know the food and wine regions of the country. When she’s not writing or taking photographs, she can be found showing her husband and two children all the backcountry trails that she longed for while in Europe. View all of Kimberly Shellborn’s articles

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