If you live in a state that gets pretty hot in the summer, the chances are that keeping your lawn green all summer is one of the most frustrating and elusive challenges you’ve ever encountered. It almost seems, at times, that the lawn is mocking you as you do everything you can think of to try to keep it green and it gets progressively browner and drier as the summer goes on. For new homeowners, this presents a very difficult challenge. We’re going to talk about three ways you can keep your lawn green: water it, fertilize it, and mow it frequently.
But First, A Word of Caution
Especially in the western states, drought and water restrictions may put limits on how often you are allowed to water your lawn. Other states may have restrictions on what fertilizers you’re allowed to use. Stay apprised of any of these restrictions and watch for city newsletters that make changes to them. If you’re caught violating any of these restrictions, the fines can be steep and the penalties harsh. Plus, even if you’re not caught violating them, they are put in place for a reason, and you may be contributing to creating a more severe drought, or even contaminating the water supply by using fertilizers with harmful chemicals in them. Make sure to stay on top of these restrictions to know what you can and cannot do to help your lawn stay green.
First Thing: When & How Long to Water Your Lawn
Some of this depends on where you’re at but, for the most part, you don’t need to water as long as you think you do. The general consensus is that it’s better to water in the early morning than any other time during the day. By watering in the early morning, the grass has a few hours to let the water soak in before the sun comes up and burns it away. If you water at night, the ground will often stay wet for the entire night, inviting fungus and mildew to grow. As far as what days and how many times per week to water, the most important thing is that you get a schedule. For example, water every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You probably don’t need to water more than 3 times per week and you shouldn’t water less than 2 times per week. Again, it depends on how hot and humid it is in your area.
It’s very easy to overwater your lawn. Most people say to water between 5-10 minutes. You may go longer than that or even shorter than that depending on the soil you have. If it’s more like clay, you’ll want to water for less time because the water will start to run off. If you have more sandy dirt, you can water for longer because the ground will keep soaking it up as long as you’re giving it water. Don’t make my mistake and water for an hour straight because your grass is brown.
Yes, your lawn needs more than just water. Fertilizing your lawn is a great way to get it to stay green. Often, no amount of water will make a lawn green because it needs more nutrients from the soil. Grass takes a lot of nutrients out of the soil, and it never gives the soil a chance to replenish it because it’s always there. By adding fertilizer, you are replenishing the nutrients in the ground so the grass can continue to flourish. You can get fertilizer at any home improvement store with instructions on how to use it.
Third Thing: Keep Your Lawn Mowed
If your lawn gets too long, it will start to die for several reasons: one, it’s hard for many of the blades to get the sun they need, and two, it’s harder for all the competing roots of all the blades of grass to all get enough water. Keep your lawn well-trimmed, and mow it on a regular schedule. Once per week is usually sufficient, unless you’re in a wetter climate, in which case you may have to do once every 5 days or so.
So there you have it! Three easy tips to follow to help keep your lawn green and flourishing all summer long! The hard part is actually following those tips!