Caring For Your Lawn Issue 4: Summer Care & Trouble Shooting

Glad to have you back, {!firstname_fix};

In this next email, I'd like to go over lawn care for summer, and talk about the best way to handle disease and fungus.

By now you're already keeping your grass longer at 2- to 3-inches high and watering less often, but thoroughly, in the morning. This is the best start to summer care! Your turf is now able to handle the heat of summer, with deep roots to reach moisture, and long blades to shade those roots.

As well as heat, your yard has to deal with traffic. The whole point of summer is to get out there and enjoy your lawn, so help it cope.

Fertilize: This is the big growing season, and your lawn needs food more than ever. It needs to be balanced, between Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash, short formed to N-P-K. Aim for an N-P-K ratio of 10-8-8 for summertime. A liquid feed works best for 2 reasons. First, it gets down into the soil to the roots, where it's needed. Secondly, you can apply it when you water, rather as a separate chore of spreading. Using Summer Blend Organic Fertilizer will fit the bill, and you won't end up with a bunch of chemicals sitting on the top of your lawn.

Treat High Traffic Spots: If you start to see brown spots from wear and tear, you'll want to beef it up with High Traffic Grass Fertilizer. This will give a huge boost to the roots, and help the grass recover quickly.

There are other things that can damage your lawn. The key is to take action right away. Here are some to watch for:

Are you sensing a theme yet? All the things that make for a lush lawn tend to be what's missing when damage starts.
Light is great for grass. Not only does it use sunshine to grow, but the sun also evaporates the surface moisture. Moss, mold, and fungus all thrive in the shade, so let the sun shine in. If you have an area that you just can't improve the light conditions, try overseeding with grass seed that does better in shade. If that isn't going to work, consider putting in a bed with shade loving plants like hostas.
Drainage keeps the roots growing deep, and the surface free of standing water. Aerating the soil helps the underground side of things. Countless mildews, mosses, and mushrooms grow in damp areas, so get rid of those conditions.
Thatch does the same thing, trapping water at the top, and encourages those invaders to move in.
Watering in the morning, less often and deeply, continues this trend of keeping the surface free of damp.
Seeding damaged areas right away not only gets the grass to fill in quicker, it prevents unwanted weeds and mosses from moving in.
PH Levels are a great way to give your turf the neutral soil it loves, while making it less tasty for fungus and moss.
Raking isn't about beautifying your yard, it's to get the leaves and thatch off and letting the air flow freely on the turf.

All this will become second nature to you, like all good habits. Your lawn will thank you for it by giving you a lovely place for picnics, parties, and games. Just remember to feed your lawn as well as your family & guests!

In out next and final email of the series, I'll outline the steps for fall lawn care, and dealing with weeds effectively and organically.

The Editors,
World of Lawn Care