In Alabama, July and August are the months when yards dry out and die because of the extreme heat of the summer. How do you keep your grass alive and flourishing during this time? We asked our Maintenance Division Manager, Matt Walker, to provide some information on the best way to do this!
Matt’s tips for keeping your grass green starts with proper watering. It is important to water in the morning because this allows the grass time to soak up the water before it evaporates in the harsh sun. Morning watering can also help prevent diseases. The rule of thumb when watering grass is about 1” per week, but it may need more depending on the heat. If you need a point of reference, an empty tuna can is about an inch of water. Grass on rocky soil or near concrete will need to be watered more.
Two beginning signs of drought stress in your lawn are:
- Random shady spots on the grass
- Footprints remaining in the yard for an extended period
If you see these two signs increase watering immediately to minimize damage. You may still experience yellow, brown, or thinning grass. The grass may get worse before it gets better.
Another tip is to make sure your yard is being mowed properly. Most people don’t realize how much mowing can affect the yard. Leaving 2” of grass is the standard for most yards. Alternate directions each time you cut to prevent ruts. Mulching clippings is also beneficial, but it is important to not leave clumps behind.
Weeds and diseases should be addressed as soon as they are noticed to prevent their spread. Proper watering, mowing, and fertilization help reduce these. Weeds can affect the future of the yard and how healthy it continues to be. The best way to prevent weeds is to have a thick healthy lawn.