Eliminate Summer Lawn Stress

Mowing a lawn with a John Deere riding mower.

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Does stress have you bent out of shape? No, not you, your lawn. Maintaining your lawn in the summer can leave a homeowner as stressed as the actual lawn may look and feel. When dealing with summer lawn maintenance there are a few things that must be kept in mind such as mower deck height, watering, and fertilizing.

Mower Deck Adjustment

Adjusting the height of the mower deck enhances stress tolerance put on the blades of grass. The experts at John Deere recommend their one-third rule for mowing – only the top one-third of the blade of grass should be cut. This will reduce the chances of the lawn burning.

Thirsty Lawns Need Water

Summer can be tough on a lawn. Signs of dehydration include curling grass blades and a bluish-green color. Another sign is footprinting – if you can see your footprints in the grass, your grass is thirsty.

Most lawns need about an inch of water per week. If you are unsure of how long to water, put a mark one inch from the bottom of several plastic containers, and spread them around the watering zone. Clock the time it takes to reach the one-inch mark and water for that length of time in the future.

Dealing with Drought

No one likes the effects of drought on a lawn. First, follow any water restrictions in your area. If grass is still growing into the drought, mow on the high side to encourage roots to go deeper. Lengthen the time between irrigations but water thoroughly but efficiently, wasting no water on runoff.

Do not water for just a short amount of time a few times a week. This invites weeds to grow. During severe water shortages, let your lawn go dormant. Your lawn can actually survive a few months of no water and will recover quickly once rain returns.

Fertilizer, Yeh or Neh?

Fertilizer can help revitalize a stressed lawn as long as it has enough water. If you irrigate or it’s a rainy summer, the grass will be encouraged to grow. The more grass grows, the more it eats and the more food you have to keep on hand.

So whenever a lawn is growing steadily, experts at John Deere recommend keeping it well-fed. If you fertilizer in a dry summer, you strengthen the chances of burning your lawn.

For more information on these topics or other inquiries about lawn maintenance, visit www.johndeere.com.

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Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.


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