Summer is almost here in Florida, and you probably would rather spend more time enjoying the season and less time worrying about your lawn. Fortunately, summer lawn care is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of things. Although each grass species has its own unique care requirements, there are some strategies that hold true across a wide range of grass types.
Here are some of our top yard tips for keeping your lawn looking its best throughout the summer.
Know What Your Lawn Needs
Because there are so many different grass types that grow well in Florida, it is important to know exactly what you are dealing with. If you are unsure which type of grass you have in your home lawn, don’t be shy about asking a landscaping or sod professional to help you identify it. Once you know exactly which grass species you have, you can determine the appropriate mowing height, watering schedule, fertilization needs, and more.
Set Your Lawn Up for Best Success
Over time, the soil underneath your lawn can become compacted, making it difficult for the roots to access the moisture and soil nutrients your lawn needs. Aerating the soil can loosen things up so that your lawn can thrive. In general, it is best to aerate in the spring so that your lawn’s roots have time to grow and spread before the summer fully kicks in, so be sure to prioritize this important task. At the same time, you can also clear out any thatch that has accumulated, giving your lawn easier access to moisture, air, and sunshine.
Mow to the Appropriate Height
Each grass type has its own preferred mowing height, and it is important to stick as closely to it as possible for optimal lawn health. Summer is the prime growing season for most grasses, so you’ll need to mow most often during this time of year. In each mowing session, don’t cut more than a third of the total height of the blades. Cutting more than that can overly stress the grass, leaving it more susceptible to pests and lawn diseases. So, if it has been a while since you last mowed, don’t jump right into cutting your lawn back to where it was. Instead, stick to the one-third rule, and mow a bit more frequently for the next few sessions until you reach the desired height.
Best to Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp
While we’re on the subject of mowing, it is crucial that your lawn mower have sharp blades. When the blades get dull, they tend to tear the grass blades rather than cutting them cleanly. Not only does this make the tips of the blades look scraggly and unkempt, but it also harms the health of your grass, leaving it more vulnerable to disease and pest activity. Have the blades sharpened or replace them as needed to keep them functioning properly for the health of your lawn.
Pay Attention to the Weather and Plan
Spring tends to be a bit drier here in Florida, so it is important to follow a consistent watering schedule early in the year. However, as summer nears, rain comes more frequently, reducing the amount you’ll need to run your sprinklers. If you can, invest in rain water sensors for your sprinkler system. This can help ensure you don’t overwater your lawn, which can lead to root rot and other complications. If rain sensors don’t fit within your budget, or if your sprinkler system is not compatible with them, you can also track the weather and adjust your water system manually to accommodate rainy days.
Start Preparing your yard for Fall
Autumn is the best time of year to fertilize your lawn, so take the time during the summer to book an appointment for a soil composition test. This will give you a better sense of what nutrients your soil is lacking so you know which type of fertilizer to buy. Fertilizers come in many types, and it is important to choose the most appropriate one for your lawn’s unique needs to get the best results.