Hot Weather Lawn Care

Hot Weather Lawn Care

 You know it’s summer when the fireworks stands are setup and Richfield City park is covered with tents for the July 4th celebration.  The heat of the summer is finally upon us and it is important to make some lawn care adjustments.  Many yard and farm plants are still a couple of weeks behind in their normal growth cycle as a result of the cool wet spring weather we have had.  Now is the time to raise the cutting height of your lawn mower to the highest setting.  High mower height settings help your lawn grasses better tolerate the heat of the summer.  Lawns cut about 2 inches high look tidy and nice, but lawns cut about 3 inches high are much more likely to be healthy.  Short cut lawns require more water and are much more susceptible to having drought stress from dry spots.  Lawns cut high require less water and maintenance.  Blades and stems of grass plants produce carbohydrates as an energy source to provide for adequate growth over the weekly grow/cut cycle.  This energy is stored in the roots and lower stems of the plant.  If you cut the grass stems too short you are cutting off a portion of the plant where the carbohydrates are stored, wasting the carbohydrates and weakening the plant.  Lawn mower blades should be kept sharp to make a nice clean cut.  Dull blades make ragged cuts, increase water loss from the plant and create an unsightly slightly grayish appearance.  Don’t fertilize; it is just too hot.  Fertilization should be done about mid-March, mid-June, and late August or early September after the heat of the summer is mostly past.