What You Need to Know About Sod and Summer Heat
Summer is officially upon us here in Florida, bringing its well-known heat and humidity. While you may have the luxury of escaping the heat to the blissful cool of indoor air conditioning, your lawn isn’t so lucky. Unless you have ample shade in your yard, your grass and sod will be baking out in the sun all day long. If you’re not careful, this can seriously impact the overall health of your lawn. Here’s what you need to do to keep your lawn safe and healthy all summer long.
Freshen Up Your Topsoil
Healthy grass starts with healthy soil. Over time, the nutrient levels in your soil can begin to deteriorate, leaving the ground dry and less hospitable to sod. As the health of the soil depletes, it loses its ability to retain the moisture your lawn needs to thrive. To combat this problem during the summer, add a layer of topsoil or mulch over your grass. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look great at first; the soil will sink down between the blades of grass with a little bit of time.
This extra layer of soil or mulch on top provides a bit of shade for the underlying soil, protecting it from the sun. This enables it to retain moisture much more effectively so that it can get to the roots where it is most needed. As the topsoil makes its way down to the soil underneath, it will begin to blend, restoring the health of your soil so your grass can flourish. Focus on the areas of your lawn that get the most sun throughout the day, but apply topsoil everywhere if possible.
Maintain A Healthy Height
Each grass type comes with its own height recommendations when it comes to mowing, so be sure to check the guidelines for your specific grass variety. During the summer, it is best to keep your grass at the higher end of the height range. This is because taller grass grows deeper roots, enabling it to better survive in hot, dry conditions. In addition, the added height provides more shade for the soil underneath, helping to prevent evaporation when you water your lawn.
In general, you should aim to mow your lawn about once every two weeks to keep it at its healthiest. Make sure that the blades in your lawnmower are sharp as well. Dull blades often tear the grass rather than cutting it, which can make your lawn more susceptible to disease and other harmful conditions.
Be Smart About Watering
Most jurisdictions in Florida have some form of lawn watering restrictions, so it is important to ensure you are in compliance with the specific laws in your area. For most grass species that grow well in Florida, about an inch of water per week is sufficient, though your lawn’s watering requirements may vary slightly depending on the amount of shade it receives. Water deeply during each session, and spread sessions out throughout the week to give the water time to absorb into the soil between waterings.
Stick to watering early in the morning before the sun rises to minimize evaporation. The last thing you want is for the water from your sprinklers to evaporate before it ever hits the ground. Don’t forget to take advantage of any rainfall, as that can reduce your reliance on your sprinklers to keep your lawn healthy and hydrated.
Fertilize As Needed
When it comes to fertilizers, look for those that are specifically designed for summer use. Fertilizers that contain large amounts of nitrogen encourage fresh growth, and that is something you want to avoid during the hot summer months. Young grass isn’t as hardy as older grass, so it will have to work harder to stay alive, putting even more stress on your lawn. Check the instructions on various fertilizer bottles to ensure you are choosing one that is suitable for summer lawn care.
Restore Your Lawn With Fresh Sod
Keeping your lawn healthy and fresh throughout the summer can be challenging, but all hope is not lost if you have a few bare patches at the end of the season. The experts here at Duda Sod can help you choose from our many varieties of sod for sale in Florida. Fall is a great time to lay fresh sod, as this will give it the best chance to establish itself before winter hits. Contact our team today to learn more about our sod services.