Grass should be cut higher in summer. George Weigel
Here’s a to-do list to keep your lawn looking good throughout the summer:
Raise the mower blades higher for summer cutting. Three inches is good for most lawns. Taller blades shade the soil and slow moisture loss in summer heat.
June is prime time to apply grub preventers if you’ve had a problem with grub damage in the past or have a low tolerance for them. Granular grub preventers should be in place and watered in so they’re available to kill new beetle larvae as soon as they hatch in August.
It’s not too late to seed a new lawn or to patch bare areas in an existing lawn. Scratch seed into the top quarter-inch of the soil, cover lightly with straw, and keep the soil consistently damp. You’ll need to be more vigilant about watering summer-started grass than in the cooler, damper spring and fall.
Cool-season lawns often go dormant and turn brown to survive summer dryness. They’ll usually “green up” when rain returns. George Weigel
Summer heat and dry weather often cause northern and mid-western cool-season grasses to go dormant and turn brown this time of year. That’s a normal survival strategy. No need to water; the grass will green when rain returns. Don’t fertilize a brown lawn, and avoid walking on it to the extent possible.
If lawns remain completely brown for more than four to six weeks due to dry soil, it’s helpful to apply a quarter-inch of water weekly. That’s enough to keep the grass roots alive but not so much to cause it to start growing again.
Lawns also may brown in summer due to a variety of bug and disease problems. If patches are dying while the rest of the lawn is green, investigate those possible causes and treat if warranted. Extension offices can help with diagnoses and treatment options.
Lawn weeds can be treated even during summer months, when other weed and feeds would normally burn a lawn, by using Preen Lawn Weed Control. It is a lawn weed killer only and does not contain fertilizer and effectively targets broadleaf weeds.
Continue to mow the lawn high (3 inches). If you haven’t sharpened your mower blades in the last 25 hours of cutting, sharpen them now. Dull mower blades make rough cuts that cause grass blades to lose more moisture than sharply cut ones.