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Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips

Summer Lawn Care Tips

In the heat of summer, lawn maintenance is essential for a lush, healthy yard. Key practices include mowing at the right height, proper watering to avoid over-saturation and selecting the right fertilizer to support your lawn under stress. Additionally, managing weeds and pests thoughtfully and preventing diseases are important. This blog offers expert tips for caring for both warm and cool-season grasses, ensuring your lawn thrives all summer long.

Be sure to check out our individual summer lawn care articles for zoysiaSt. Augustinebermuda grasscentipede grass and bluegrass or fescue lawns for more details about a specific grass type.

Want us to do some of the summer lawn care for you?

Check out the Lawnifi Complete Program for a year-round lawn care subscription. Each box, curated by turfgrass experts for the active growing season, provides all essential lawn care needs and is delivered in spring, summer and fall. Learn More

1. Keep Up with Summer Mowing (and Reduce the Time Spent on This Chore)

Summer mowing can be challenging as temperatures rise, especially if the grass gets too tall, making the mower hard to push. Maintaining your lawn at recommended heights for various grass types can make it easier:

  • Bermuda (0.5–1.5 inches)
  • Bluegrass (2.5–3.5 inches)
  • Centipede (1.5–2.0 inches)
  • Fescue (2.5–3.5 inches)
  • St. Augustine (2–4 inches)
  • Zoysia (0.5–2 inches, depending on the blade type)

Never cut more than a third of the blade to prevent stress and browning.

If you go on a vacation or break and your grass gets too tall while you’re gone, mow gradually to the desired height, allowing 3–5 days between mowings. Taller blades benefit the lawn by shading the root system and retaining moisture.

Note: Get ahead of summer mowing and check out our tips on reducing time spent mowing your lawn as it gets hotter outside: How to Mow Your Lawn Less During the Summer.

Mowing Lawn Mower Summer Shade

2. Keep Your Heat-Stressed Lawn Strong with the Right Summer Fertilizer

As summer heats up, so do soil temperatures and conditions, stressing your lawn and changing its nutrient needs. Less nitrogen is required than in cooler months, as excessive nitrogen and sunlight can scorch your lawn. Sod University suggests two summer fertilization options, but you only need to choose one.

Option 1 is the Lawnifi® Summer Fertilizer Box, a liquid program with Maintain and Recover formulations to support your lawn with essential nutrients, including potassium and micronutrients like iron and manganese, for the summer months.

Option 2 is Lawnifi Foundation, a granular fertilizer with a 29-0-5 NPK mix and slow-release nitrogen, ensuring a steady supply of nutrients without overwhelming your lawn, plus iron for a lush, green appearance.

Summer Fertilizer Box

Lawnifi is a liquid fertilizer program powered by Catalyst Technology. For optimal results, feed your lawn monthly during the active growing season (spring, summer, fall). Simply attach a hose to the sprayer top and apply evenly to your lawn.

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3. Make Sure Your Lawn is Hydrated…But Not Too Hydrated

Despite the temptation to water more in summer, lawns typically need only 1 inch of water weekly, including rainfall, to avoid disease-promoting waterlogged conditions. Aim for one or two deep waterings early in the morning each week to minimize dew duration and reduce disease risk and take rainfall into consideration.

Watering in the early morning decreases the amount of time dew is present, which is helpful for managing any potential disease outbreaks. Unsure of measuring water? Try an irrigation audit. If heat stress appears, top dressing may help cool and protect your lawn.

Sprinkler Watering Lawn Summer

4. Be Cautious with Weed Control

Avoid weed control applications during summer, particularly for cool season grasses like fescues and bluegrass, due to the risk of damage when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Opt for spot treatment or hand-pulling of weeds instead. It’s safer to apply post-emergent herbicides to control any present weeds when it’s cooler, ideally in early fall or when temperatures consistently stay below 85 degrees.

To prevent seasonal weeds, use pre-emergent herbicides in spring and fall. Be cautious of common summer weeds like knotweed, spurge and crabgrass. Learn more in How to Control Weeds During the Summer.

how to get rid of crabgrass

 Be sure to read herbicide labels thoroughly before application.

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns + Crabgrass Killer

Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns + Crabgrass Killer is a post-emergent herbicide that kills over 470 types of common lawn weeds including chickweed, yellow nutsedge, crabgrass, foxtail and dandelion. Available in a single quart bottle.

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5. Watch Out for Insect Infestations or Damage

Summer brings the peak of insect activity, with pests like chinch bugs, grub worms, mole crickets, billbugs and spittlebugs posing threats to lawns. Each insect has distinct signs of infestation, such as patchy grass for chinch bugs or tunneling for mole crickets.

Sod Webworm In Home Lawn Close Up
Sod webworm

Grub worm control is major in June with preventative control like Acelepryn to combat egg-laying beetles. Billbug damage resembles drought stress and can be diagnosed with a “tug” test on the grass. Spittlebugs are identified by their hopping behavior and the frothy substance they leave on plants.

Sod webworms, active from May to July, consume the green parts of grass blades, leaving only the veins. Natural Guard Spinosad is the best control product for these guys.

Always read product labels before applying insect control treatments and consider further reading on lawn insect identification for comprehensive management strategies.

Natural Guard Spinosad – 1 Quart – Ready to Spray

Natural Guard Spinosad is an easy-to-use insect control solution that hooks up to the end of your garden hose. Available in a 1-quart bottle.

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6. Look Out for Disease in Cool Season Grass

Disease is rare in warm season lawns like zoysia and bermuda grass during summer, but overwatering can increase risk. Cool season grasses, including Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, are more disease-prone now.

Prevent outbreaks with proper lawn maintenance and cultural practices that promote lawn health. For existing issues, consider fungicides, but read labels carefully before use. More information on lawn diseases and their management can be found in Identifying Common Lawn Diseases.

Armada 50 WDG Fungicide – 2lbs

Armada 50 WDG is a fungicide that offers effective control over a wide variety of the toughest turf diseases over 21–28 days. Available as a 2 lb. jug.

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Summer lawn care focuses on maintaining health and resilience against heat. For hassle-free care, consider the Lawnifi Complete Subscription for year-round lawn support. Learn More.

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