Summer Lawn Care
There’s something about the distant hum of lawnmowers on a summer afternoon that I find truly relaxing. Unless of course, the lawn mower is very close by and I’m the one that’s pushing it!
IF, and I mean IF, we get a nice long hot summer, your lawncare regime will be easy. If, on the other hand, as so often happens in Scotland, the weather is mild but wet, you might find there’s still some maintenance to be done.
Help your lawn to prepare for dry weather by raising the mower blades. Unless you are caring for a bowling green or a croquet lawn, the ideal height for your summertime lawn is around about 5cm (2 inches).
If you haven’t already done so, sharpen your mower blades. You’ll get a cleaner cut, you won’t leave raggedy edges on the leaves and there’ll be no open wounds where the plants can lose water or gain diseases.
Depending on the weather, grass grows more slowly at this time of year so you’ll probably be able to reduce mowing to once or twice a week.
If your lawn is growing strongly, keep feeding it. It needs to be robust enough to cope with the stresses of summer. Ie less water (hopefully!), long hot days spent photosynthesising in the sun, extra use whilst we humans enjoy the outdoors.
Use a spring-summer formulation like this Lushlawn from Stewarts Turf
Apply every 6 weeks until the end of August. From September onwards you should be feeding with an autumn-winter lawn fertiliser.
If you’re using a granular fertiliser – it needs to be watered in otherwise it might scorch the leaves. Wait until the sky is dark with rain clouds before applying it – that way Mother Nature will water it in for you.
It’s this time of year when weeds are most noticeable. Grass will often turn brown in the summer but weeds stay green and vibrant.
Now that you can see them, grub them out with a hand-fork and throw them away. It’s not advisable to use blanket sprays at this time of year because there’s a risk of them scorching the grass on hot days. You can however, spot treat weeds with herbicide – just be careful not to get any on the grass.
The only lawn watering you should really be doing is for establishing new turf or seed. A settled lawn has its own mechanisms for coping with drought and believe you me, it costs far less to work with Mother Nature than against her.
Your lawn may turn a bit brown or straw-like but that’s normal and nothing to worry about. It will recover quickly once the rain comes.
Letting the grass grow a bit longer (see “mowing” above) is the best way to keep it green.
Garden Furniture, Paddling Pools and Picnic Rugs
In my book, these are what summer is all about. Relaxing outdoors, on the lawn with a good book or a water pistol.
Leaving toys and furniture on the lawn for any more than a day or two will create patches of discoloured grass. If, like me, you’re a camper, you’ll have seen what damage a tent can do in a week.
Be sure to keep moving things around to avoid stressing the lawn.
More summer lawn care and gardening articles