Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips

Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips

Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips

Summer is here and as the weather grows warmer, everyone gears up for a great season. Whether you are spending time at the pool, throwing cookouts, going on a family vacation or even social distancing, summer is the season to spend time outside and enjoy the sun. It is also the time to make sure your lawn looks better than any neighbors’ who live on the same street. Are you ready to care for your lawn this summer? Below are some important summer maintenance tips and guides for each popular type of grass: zoysia, bermudagrass, St. Augustine, bluegrass and fescue. Click these links to jump to a section below.

Zoysia Summer Maintenance Tips

Zoysia Summer Mowing, Watering and Fertilizing

Summer maintenance for an established, mature zoysiagrass is fairly simple, but differs from the maintenance practices for spring. When mowing your zoysia, never remove any more than ⅓ of the leaf blade. Removing more than this amount stresses your grass out and as a result, it may go brown for a short period of time. A height between 1.5–2 inches is typically acceptable. Taller blades provide more shade for your root system to stay cool and retain moisture during the hot summer days. If you leave town for summer vacation, you may have to repeat mowing multiple times to get the grass back to its desired height of 1.5–2 inches. Wait about three to five days between each mowing and be wary of asking a neighborhood boy to mow your lawn in your absence—it is not uncommon for someone else’s lawn mower to bring over grass or seedlings from another lawn, such as bermudagrass, that will then aggressively spread and grow into your zoysia lawn. Be sure any lawn mower other than your own is clean before using it on your grass.

Pictured above: EMPIRE Turf® Zoysiagrass during the summer months.

Despite the hot temperatures that occur during the summer, zoysia only needs about one inch of water/week considering rainfall. To ensure your lawn gets its essential nutrients applied at the appropriate amount, we recommend using the Lawnifi™ Summer Fertilizer Box.

Zoysia Summer Weed Control

Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control summer and annual perennial broadleaf weeds. Some common summer weeds zoysia experiences include crabgrass species, goosegrass, dallisgrass, purple and yellow nutsedge, annual sedge and sandbur. If crabgrass and goosegrass are present, make a note to apply a pre-emergent herbicide next spring. Do not apply herbicides during a drought, when grass and weeds are not actively growing or when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Consider spot treating weeds to avoid burning the grass during hot summer months.

Zoysia Summer Disease Control

If you have had a fungus or disease in your lawn in the past, or have a lot of shade in your yard, apply a fungicide to ensure their aren’t any future outbreaks. As always, read the product labels thoroughly before application of any herbicide, fungicide or insecticide. Find a few of our recommended control products for common weeds, insects and disease zoysia experiences during the summer months. You can also check out our individual Homeowner Maintenance Guides for generic zoysiagrassEMPIRE TurfGeoTM Zoysia or InnovationTM for more details on zoysia summer maintenance.

Bermudagrass Summer Maintenance Tips

Bermudagrass Summer Mowing, Watering and Fertilizing

Bermudagrass maintenance is fairly similar to that of zoysiagrass. When mowing, never remove any more than ⅓ of the leaf blade at a time. If you need to cut more than ⅓, consider completing multiple cuts over three to five days. A height between one to two inches is typically acceptable. Taller blades provide more shade for your root system to stay cool and retain moisture during the hot summer days. If you leave town for summer vacation, you may have to repeat mowing multiple times to get the grass back to its desired height of one to two inches. Wait about three to five days between each mowing. Do not overwater the grass. Despite the hot temperatures that occur during the summer, your bermudgrass should only need about one inch of water on a weekly basis including rainfall. To ensure your lawn gets its essential nutrients applied at the appropriate amount, we recommend using the Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box.

Pictured above: Celebration® Bermudagrass during the summer months.

Bermudagrass Summer Weed Control

Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control summer and annual perennial broadleaf weeds. Some common summer weeds bermudagrass experiences include white clover, knotweed, spurge and lespedza. If crabgrass and goosegrass are present, make a note to apply a pre-emergent herbicide next spring. Do not apply herbicides during a drought, when grass and weeds are not actively growing or when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Consider spot treating weeds to avoid burning the grass during hot summer months.

Bermudagrass Summer Insect Control

Check for any white grubs or nematodes in your bermudagrass around this time and treat with an insecticide if needed. The summer months are the best time to control grubs because they are still small and feeding near the soil surface.

Bermudagrass Summer Disease Control

If you have had a fungus or disease in your lawn in the past, or have a lot of shade in your yard, apply a fungicide to ensure their aren’t any future outbreaks. As always, read the product labels thoroughly before application of any herbicide, fungicide or insecticide. Find a few of our recommended control products for common weeds, insects and disease bermudagrass experiences during the summer months. You can also check out our individual Homeowner Maintenance Guides for generic bermudagrassCelebrationLatitude 36® and NorthBridge®.

St. Augustine Summer Maintenance Tips

St. Augustine Summer Mowing, Watering and Fertilizing

The first thing you will want to do this summer is mow your St. Augustine between 2–2.5 inches in height. Never remove any more than ⅓ of the leaf blade at a time as it will stress your grass out. As a result, your lawn may start to turn brown. If you need to cut more than ⅓ of the leaf blade, consider mowing multiple times over a three to five day period. Taller blades provide more shade for your root system to stay cool and retain moisture during the hot summer days. If you leave town for summer vacation, you may have to repeat mowing multiple times to get the grass back to its desired height of 2–2.5 inches. Wait about three to five days between each mowing. Do not overwater the grass. Despite the hot temperatures that occur during the summer, your St. Augustine should only need about one inch of water on a weekly basis including rainfall. To ensure your lawn gets its essential nutrients applied at the appropriate amount, we recommend using the Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box.

Pictured above: Palmetto® St. Augustine during the summer months.

St. Augustine Summer Weed Control

Apply a post-emergent herbicide as needed to control summer and annual perennial broadleaf weeds, such as knotweed, spurge and lespedeza. Since St. Augustinegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides (2,4-D and MSMA), apply an atrazine-based herbicide and follow label directions. If crabgrass and goosegrass are present, make a note to apply a pre-emergent herbicide next spring. Do not apply herbicides during a drought, when grass and weeds are not actively growing or when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Consider spot treating weeds to avoid burning the grass during hot summer months.

St. Augustine Summer Insect Control

CitraBlue may be susceptible to sod webworms and other caterpillars at this time. If you spot sod webworms or other caterpillar activity, be sure to apply an insecticide that is labeled to treat such insects and pests. If drought symptoms or yellow spots occur in a sunny location, check for chinch bug activity. Push a coffee can (with both top and bottom removed) into the ground and fill it with water. Any chinch bugs present will float. Treat for chinch bugs if you have 20 or more chinch bugs per 1,000 sq. ft. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. For more information, visit our Insect Identification blog.

St. Augustine Summer Disease Control

If you have had a fungus or disease in your lawn in the past, or have a lot of shade in your yard, apply a fungicide to ensure their aren’t any future outbreaks. St. Augustine is susceptible to gray leaf spot and brown (large) patch. As always, read the product labels thoroughly before application of any herbicide, fungicide or insecticide. Find a few of our recommended control products for common weeds, insects and disease St. Augustine experiences during the summer months. You can also check out our individual Homeowner Maintenance Guides for generic St. AugustinePalmetto St. Augustine and CitraBlueTM St. Augustine.

Bluegrass and Fescue Summer Maintenance Tips

Bluegrass and Fescue Summer Mowing, Watering and Fertilizing

When mowing during the summer, never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time. If you remove more than that, you will stress the grass and it may go brown for a short time. Taller blades provide more shade for your root system to stay cool and retain moisture during the hot summer days. If you are returning from vacation, you may have to mow multiple times to get the grass back to the desired height. Wait about three to five days between each mowing. Do not over water the grass. Despite the hot temperatures that occur during the summer, your bluegrass or fescue only need about one inch of water weekly. Water for longer periods of time, less frequently and in the early morning hours. Take rainfall into consideration. To ensure your lawn gets its essential nutrients applied at the appropriate amount, we recommend using the Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box. DO NOT apply herbicides on your bluegrass or fescue during the summer.

Pictured above: Bella® Bluegrass during the summer months.

Bluegrass and Fescue Summer Insect Control

Check for and control white grubs in July and August. Treat with an insecticide if needed. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. The summer months are the best time to control grubs because they are small and feeding near the soil surface.

Bluegrass and Fescue Summer Disease Control

Bluegrass and fescue are highly susceptible to brown (large) patch disease, which appears as irregularly shaped patches of dead or dying turf. Do not apply nitrogen fertilizer when the disease is active, keep the mowing height above three inches, and water between 2:00–8:00AM. Apply fungicide during severe brown patch outbreaks. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. As always, read the product labels thoroughly before application of any herbicide, fungicide or insecticide. Find a few of our recommended control products for common insects and disease bluegrass experiences during the summer months. You can also check out our individual Homeowner Maintenance Guides for generic bluegrass and fescue.

Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box

The Summer Fertilizer Box consists of one bottle of Maintain and two bottles of Recover for a lesser price and better deal than purchasing all three bottles individually. Spray one application of Maintain at the start of spring to promote healthy roots and the continuation of green leaf blades after the spring season ends. Around four weeks later, follow your application of Maintain with an application of Recover to help your lawn get through the dog day stress of summer. Recover serves as a powerful nutrition package that delivers micronutrients such as iron along with specific carbon and nitrogen macronutrients needed to grow a healthy lawn during stressful conditions. It also gives lawns the nutrients needed to fight through summer seasonal and environmental stress. Use the remaining bottle of Recover at the end of the summer to prep your lawn for your fall fertilizer maintenance program. Our patented nano-fertilizers with Catalyst TechnologyTM promote a healthy lawn with nutrients designed to beat the summer heat.

As mentioned above, it is important to make sure no disease or fungi outbreaks happen this summer. If you think a disease may be present or you’ve had one in the past, it is recommended apply a fungicide to ensure there aren’t any future outbreaks. To learn more information about types of common lawn diseases, how to identify them and which fungicides to apply, read our Lawn Disease Control blog. For proper irrigation control information, check out our Lawn Irrigation Guide.

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