Understanding Summer Lawn Care In Minnesota
Summer lawn time is often filled with barbeques, picnics, lawn games, and other outdoor activities. You’ll likely be spending more time outside and using and seeing your lawn more than ever. Because of that, you want it to look and perform its best so that you can get the most out of it.
But a lot of homeowners don’t always realize that summer is the most stressful time of the year for your lawn. We find a common misconception is that winter is the most stressful season for grass, but in reality it’s the combination of intense heat, periods of drought, summer lawn pets, new weed threats, summer lawn diseases, and even more wear and tear that can really start to take a toll on even the healthiest turf.
We know there’s a lot involved in summer lawn care in Minnesota and we want you to feel confident that you’re set up for success.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our best summer lawn maintenance advice so that you can ensure your lawn is getting everything that it needs.
Watering a Lawn in Summer
When it comes to a healthy and thriving lawn, proper watering is vital. Without the right amount of water, your lawn will never perform its best. Of course, we do find that some homeowners fail to realize it’s possible to have “too much of a good thing.” Overwatering can be as harmful to the lawn as underwatering it as it’s going to drown the plant roots.
- Avoid watering your lawn at night as this can create a breeding ground for summer lawn diseases. The best time to water the lawn is morning, to give it ample time to dry out via evaporation.
- Water your lawn two or three times per week. This may need to be increased during periods of extended drought. The goal is to simulate a deep soaking rain so that soil is moist to a few inches of depth. This could mean watering for around 30 to 45 minutes per zone.
- Keeping up with watering using a hose can be time consuming. If you’re worried about not being able to provide your lawn the watering it needs, irrigation is a great solution. While we do not offer irrigation, we can set you up with a company that we trust. The key is to find a professional irrigation company that not only installs systems but can also handle your maintenance needs.
Mowing a Lawn in Summer
Lawn mowing in Minnesota is one of those tasks that seems like it’s relatively simple but there are best practices that will make a world of difference when it comes to your lawn’s health. We’ve written an article on mowing frequency as well as a comprehensive look at best practices. But here’s a summary of the key points.
- Mowing weekly as opposed to bi-weekly is optimal for the health of your lawn, particularly in the summer when it’s already stressed. Every time you cut your lawn, it puts stress on the grass. But that stress is dramatically increased if you have to make a more significant cut. You want to cut a maximum of one-third from the tip of the grass blade to make it less traumatic.
- Cut height is also critical. Grass should be cut no shorter than 3 to 3.5 inches.
- Make sure that you are mowing with sharp blades and a level mowing deck.
- Investing in a professional mowing service can help ensure that grass is mowed properly and that you get the best results.
Summer Lawn Fertilizer
Lawn fertilization is an important service that helps feed your grass plants the nutrients they need to thrive. But fertilization in the summer can quickly go awry as lawn burn is a lot more likely in the heat.
The application of summer lawn fertilizer is one of those services best left in the hands of the pro because the amount of damage you can potentially do to your lawn is simply not worth the risk.
Dealing with Summer Lawn Weeds
Summer lawn weeds are a nemesis that is difficult to escape. The hot and dry weather typically means that your lawn is already stressed and this is when opportunistic weeds take their chance—and start spreading like crazy! Because of that, you might be wondering about summer lawn weed killer.
- An effective summer lawn weed program will incorporate various control solutions including both pre-emergent and post-emergent controls. Pre-emergents are essential for addressing crabgrass as it can be difficult (but not impossible) to address post-emergently.
- The best defense against weeds (in general) is a lawn care program that promotes a thick and healthy lawn. In time, this will begin to choke out weeds naturally.
Summer Lawn Pests
Another big concern at this time of year is summer lawn pests. Lawn insects can be a common culprit behind lawn problems that cause symptoms such as yellowing or browning grass.
Here are a few summer lawn pests that need to be on your radar.
- Surface-feeding insects including chinch bugs and sod webworms are two big concerns in the summer. The damage from these pests can be severe but if you’re working with a professional lawn care company, they should be able to spot signs of an issue early on and treat it appropriately.
- Sub-surface feeding insects, namely lawn grubs, are another major concern in the summer. Grubs, which is the collective name for several species of beetles in their larval stage, are tiny creatures that have the power to do a lot of damage to your lawn. These are bugs that eat grass roots. The best option for grub control is preventative maintenance. A lawn care program with pollinator safe grub control is key.
Summer Lawn Diseases
Summer can also be a time when lawn fungus runs rampant. Some of the most common summer lawn diseases that we see include Red Thread, Dollar Spot, and Brown Patch.
Here are a few things that you need to know about these concerns.
- Professional fungicide treatments are a curative solution for a lawn fungus outbreak. If you’re already dealing with one of these lawn fungus problems then you may need professional control.
- Some of the best ways to prevent lawn fungus in the first place are to mow to the proper height, avoid overwatering, and avoid watering in the late afternoon or night.
Summer Lawn Wear and Tear
Another major stressor for your lawn in the summer is simply the fact that you’re using it more than ever. As we started this article off saying, we know that you’re spending more time outside, as you should be. But this is naturally going to put more stress on the lawn (at a time when it’s already under stress).
Along with that, dogs also put added stress on a lawn in the summer. If you’re someone that has one or more dogs, you might want to read our article about pet-friendly lawn care. But here are a few highlights to keep in mind.
- Urine burn is one of the biggest dog-related problems we see in the summer. We sometimes get calls from homeowners who think we burned their lawn when in reality it was their dog’s urine (which is high in urea, which happens to also be in fertilizer) that was the culprit. If you don’t have a dog, it’s worth looking into whether a neighbor’s dog might be using your lawn as its bathroom.
- While urine burn is a tough problem to overcome, we recommend dedicating a far corner of the property for your dog to do their business. You could also train your dog to use a mulch area or have a special dog run designated just for them.
Summer Lawn Seeding
Finally, as your summer lawn has been under lots of stress, you likely want to know what you can do to repair certain areas that have taken a beating. There might be thinned out spots or areas that are under-performing.
The answer is lawn aeration and overseeding.
We actually do not perform this service in the summer but rather in the Fall, when weather conditions are optimal for your new grass to start germinating. Summer lawn seeding can be a waste of time as that new, delicate growth is only going to get torched by the hot sun.
Instead, as the summer begins to come to a close, it’s time to start thinking about this service, which we call the “cornerstone of our lawn care program.” It’s one of the absolute best things that you can do for your lawn and it will help to start repairing some of the stress your lawn has faced in the summer.
Finding a Minnesota Lawn Care Company Who Can Handle Summer Lawn Care and More
At the end of the day, having a thick, healthy, and thriving lawn that you can enjoy in the summer (and beyond) is all about a year-round, full program. You can’t just pick and choose which seasons you want to care for your lawn if you want to have it looking and performing its best.
You also can’t wait until your lawn is in terrible shape to start using professional services and then expect to see a change overnight. Even healthy lawns need ongoing care and maintenance.
At Green Grounds Landscaping, one of the values of signing up for one of our lawn care packages is that we can take care of your lawn all year and ensure that it’s getting each of these different lawn care services talked about above.
Instead of having to figure out the guesswork of summer lawn fertilizer or summer lawn weed killer, you can know that tasks like these are being performed exactly as they should. We can even handle mowing the lawn in the summer.
In the end, that adds up to peace of mind that your lawn is getting what it needs not only in the summer, but throughout the year.
If you’d like to stop worrying about your lawn, request your quote, and relax as you get the royal treatment.