The Dog Days of Summer have Arrived in Northern Virginia

The 4th of July marks the arrival of summer here in Alexandria Virginia.  This mean hot humid days, evening thunderstorms and sticky nights.  All can take a toll on your lawn’s health.  NuLeaf has put a few tips together to help get your lawn through the next two months.

Refrain From Cutting Too Short

 If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants’ ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the proper height, however, grass develops stronger roots that support more vigorous plants that are more tolerant of stress. Set your mower for 4”.  Proper mowing height also prevents weed growth and helps shade the soil preventing it from drying out while cooling the soil.

Remember the One-Third Rule

When deciding on the correct height to cut your grass, it is important to also remember the “one-third” rule: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. By doing so, the lawn is kept cooler because less plant tissue is removed. Also always keep your mower blades sharp, this keeps the grass blade from getting torn and will keep it from turning brown on the tips.  Lastly, don’t bag the clippings this is a great source of organic fertilizer.

Water Properly

One collective misconception about maintaining grass in extreme heat is the necessity to overwater.  A general rule to keep in mind is that turf grasses do better managed on the dry side rather than wet; when soil is constantly wet, it creates too many physiological problems for plants and soil organisms alike. The grass roots will be deprived of oxygen and may become more susceptible to disease because diseases thrive in wet conditions. In general, the drier the grass and soil, the less disease there will be.

Another rule-of-thumb is to water “deeply and infrequently.” Water deeply to wet the entire root zone, and then do not water again until the grass is dry. 

While it is important to be adequate on hydration, do not water the grass daily. Lawns need only one-inch of water per week, including rainfall.

Proper Annual Maintenance

The single most important way to prepare your lawn for the summer is to ensure it is being managed by a NuLeaf Lawn Care Technician.  Our professionals will ensure your lawn has the nutrients it needs, weeds are under control and disease pressure is managed.  If you have not signed up it is super easy check out our lawn care page.

Happy summer!!

The NuLeaf Team