Keeping Your Grass Green during the Summer Months

August 2011

Americans are wild about their lawns. Every year, they mow turf areas equivalent to the size of Pennsylvania and spend $8.5 billion on lawn care. However, even if you spend the average of 40 hours per year mowing and caring for your lawn, it’s possible to see your turf turn an unattractive shade of brown once the summer heat hits.

Actually, as landscaping contractors can tell you, a brown lawn is completely natural. The fescues and Kentucky bluegrass varieties that grow well in Northern climates naturally go dormant over the summer months. This is a self-protection strategy; grasses enter a state of hibernation to preserve energy. Once the cooler temperatures and higher precipitation of autumn returns, your brown lawn will return to a beautiful shade of green.

Lawn maintenance is one of the most common services landscaping contractors provide. To enjoy an emerald green lawn all summer long, you can hire one of many West Linn lawn care companies, who can help you with everything from scheduled maintenance to the installation of home irrigation systems. Alternatively, DIY-types can keep their lawns green by practicing the following techniques:

Mow high. Put your lawn mower on a high setting, to leave the grass around 3 inches high. Taller blades provide more shade for your lawn’s root system, which keeps it cooler during hot summer days. Additionally, taller blades of grass result in deeper, stronger roots.

Deep, regular watering. If you want a green lawn all summer long, you must water consistently.. Rather than shallow watering every day, water your lawn deeply once or twice a week. One to one-and-a-half inches of water a week will keep your lawn green. Most home irrigation systems can be pre-programmed to take care of the watering for you.

Water early in the day. Five o’clock in the morning is the perfect time for watering your lawn. Program your irrigation systems to water early in the morning, so your lawn will have enough time to dry out during the day, thereby preventing fungal diseases.

Mower maintenance. A poorly maintained mower will only harm your turf. Good mower maintenance includes sharpening the blades and changing the oil, filter and spark plugs.  Dull mower blades will tear not cut your lawn, leaving brown tips on the grass blades.  These are services landscaping contractors may be able to provide.

Repair spots caused by pet waste. When Fido does his business on your lawn, he is effectively over-fertilizing that spot. Some West Linn lawn care companies sell lawn repair kits that can help you re-grow such brown spots in as little as four days.

Apply fertilizer. The general rule of thumb landscaping contractors recommend is to fertilize your lawn every six weeks. However, you may find that this causes your lawn to grow too quickly, when using traditional fertilizers.  A lower nitrogen content fertilizer between 10 and 14 will keep your lawn green while eliminating the fast growth.  Using a mulching mower also helps to naturally fertilize the lawn by recycling the nutrients in the grass clippings back into the soil.  Be sure you apply the fertilizer evenly and judiciously. Too much fertilizer can turn the turf brown.

Reviving a brown lawn is one of the most commonly requested services landscaping contractors receive. Unfortunately, if your lawn is already looking like coconut matting, there’s not much you can do to bring the green back before fall. As West Linn lawn care experts can tell you, once a lawn has gone brown, over watering will only stress out the turf. To prevent this frustrating situation, follow the lawn maintenance tips listed above.

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