Summer is a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors, especially here in South Texas! However, the temperatures seem to just keep rising. With temperatures already hitting 100° multiple days in a row throughout August, keeping your San Antonio landscape from shriveling up and dying in the heat feels impossible. Follow these simple tips to help keep your lawn healthy and alive in dog days of summer.
Water Your Lawn Thoroughly
This plays a crucial role in keeping your lawn looking great. It may surprise you to know that less frequent but deeper watering sessions will prove to be much more effective in keeping your lawn alive than several shallow watering sessions. A good rule of thumb when watering your lawn is to use at least one inch of water on your lawn, per week, to keep your turf alive.
Also, try to water your lawn in the morning so that more water will soak into the roots before it has a chance to evaporate in the afternoon heat. Please keep watering restrictions in mind if your area experiences summer droughts.
Keep Your Grass Longer in the Summer
Refrain from cutting your grass too short during the San Antonio summers as it reduces the amount of energy a plant will have for growth. At the proper height, grass develops stronger roots. Research the proper height for your grass type, and when you do cut your grass, never remove more than 1/3 of the grass height at one time. Keeping your lawn thicker by limiting mowing will also help you reduce the likelihood of weeds. The taller the grass, the denser it can become, and the less likely that weeds will be able to germinate.
Don’t Mow a Stressed Lawn
During a drought, try to avoid mowing your lawn as often as you normally would. The turf is already undergoing stress and may become permanently damaged at the roots if cut. A day or so after a good rainfall will be the best time to mow your lawn during a drought.
Keep Mower Blades Sharp
Dull mower blades tear the plant tissue of your grass instead of neatly cutting it. This torn grass tissue can develop a brown appearance and become more susceptible to disease. Make sure to cut your grass with a sharp blade to keep it healthy and help it heal faster.
Leave Your Grass Clippings After Mowing
The grass clippings you leave on your lawn will help provide your yard with moisture in the midst of the summer heat. Please note that you should make sure the clippings don’t clump up as this could cause more harm than good.
Remove Existing Weeds
This is the most difficult step because it requires getting to the root of the problem (pun intended). Pull out all of the current weeds, plus the roots, either by hand or with a handheld weeder or hoe. Consider using a well-researched herbicide to tackle the problem if your weeds have gotten out of control.
Dethatch and Aerate Your Grass
Removing the naturally occurring thick thatch of your lawn will prevent new weeds from growing into the yard’s small, open spaces. Water your lawn a few days before you aerate so that both water and air can nourish the soil under your grass.
Keep Your Grass Fed
If you have warm-season turf, then keep your grass healthy with regular fertilization during the summer. A majority of San Antonio lawns are warm-season grasses like Bermuda or St. Augustine. If you do have a cool-season lawn then hold off on fertilizing your lawn till fall or early spring.