Longer days, eskies full of cold ones, snags on the barbie and backyard cricket -- yep, we’re in for a ripper summer!
While we Aussies love summer, our lawns can take quite the beating.
Getting our backyards ready for BBQs and the holiday season requires a little bit of work and some nifty secrets that we’re happy to share with our fellow lawn lovers!
If you’re wanting to know how to make your grass green up for summer and how to keep your grass green in the summer heat, we’ve got a bunch of tried and tested tips.
Best get cracking now so that come Christmas, you’ll have the perfect lawn to host all your holiday shindigs!
How do I keep my grass green in the summer?
Keeping your grass green in hot weather may sound like an uphill battle, but it’s relatively easy to do. In Australia, we’ve got a great selection of warm-season grass varieties that are tough as nails when it comes to the summer heat. Of course, varieties such as Sir Walter DNA Certified will have an easier time retaining their lustre over summer. Yet, no matter what grass type you have, the following tips should get you a green lawn throughout the dry season:
1. Water early
For drought-tolerant turf varieties, rainfall should be adequate enough to irrigate your lawn over summer. However, during extended dry spells, you may need to give your lawn an extra soaking. Our rule of thumb is to water for longer but less frequently in summer.
When watering, do so early in the morning. Before 10am is a good time as it’s still relatively cool, allowing the water to soak into the soil without being evaporated by the sun’s rays.
Since we’re in a dry country susceptible to drought conditions, it’s a good idea to read up on your local water restrictions prior to watering your lawn. Installing an irrigation system or independent water supply (such as bore, grey water or tank water) will help give your lawn the drink it needs without exhausting the local water supply.
2. Mow high/improve your mowing technique
How often should you mow your lawn in summer? This depends on your lawn type, location and local climate.
Usually, you’ll only need to mow your lawn every 7-14 days in summer. Once you begin mowing, make sure you adjust your mowing height. It’s best to keep the grass longer to prevent stress and sun damage.
Finally, never remove more than ⅓ of the leaf blade and always remember to keep your mowing blades sharp to prevent leaf damage.
3. Aerate your lawn
The goal during summer is to help your grass absorb as much moisture and nutrients as it can get. One way to do this is by aerating your lawn.
Using a lawn aerator or garden fork, punch holes over the entire surface area of your lawn (spacing holes around 8-10cm apart) to reduce soil compaction and improve soil drainage. This should be done once during summer, preferably at the same time as fertilising.
Lawn aeration will allow any rainfall to reach the grassroots and help your lawn retain moisture during the long, hot months.
4. Feed your lawn with the nutrients it needs
Fertilising your lawn during summer will help it to remain nourished and healthy. The healthier the lawn, the less susceptible it is to weeds, insects and disease. Think of fertiliser as a booster shot for your grass, giving it added protection from the summer heat.
For best results, use a high-nitrogen fertiliser in early summer. Apply fertiliser as instructed for your lawn type to protect it from seasonal stress and keep it lush and green for those summer picnics.
5. Stay on top of weeds
Lawn weeds pose a couple of problems. Aside from being not great to look at, weeds compete with your grass for nutrients and moisture, making your grass weaker and more susceptible to summer stress and dehydration.
Get rid of weeds manually or by using a weed killer that is safe for your lawn type. Along with weeding, remove thatch and dead material from your lawn using a rake to further help your lawn absorb the moisture it needs.
6. Get rid of lawn pests
Lawn pests such as chafer grubs and armyworms are known culprits behind bare patches in lawns.
You can tell if your lawn is infested if you see birds pecking at the soil, a rise in moth activity, or if your soil looks like it has been ploughed. If you walk on your grass and it feels spongy underfoot then this could also signal a lawn grub infestation.
The easiest way to get rid of lawn pests is to use a season-long insecticide such as Acelepryn Granules along with proper lawn maintenance.
To keep your lawn looking green in summer, consider an application of ColourGuard.
ColourGuard is a 100% organic and non-toxic grass colourant designed to improve the health and appearance of your lawn. Just one application of ColourGuard will give your lawn up to 3 months of natural and vibrant green colour.
Along with beautiful, natural pigment, ColourGuard screens out harmful UV rays while still allowing your grass to absorb filtered light for nutrients.
Apply ColourGuard prior to the hottest part of the month for sustained greenery throughout summer.
How do I fix yellow grass in summer?
Watching your lovely, green lawn turn yellow is enough to send any of us into a panic. Luckily, there are ways you can fix this.
There may be several reasons why your lawn is turning yellow. Some of the most common causes of yellow or brown lawns include:
- Dog/pet urine
- Lawn grubs or insects
- Too much/too little water
- Lack of nitrogen
- Poor general lawn health
In summer, your lawn will be searching for a bit more nitrogen. Nitrogen deficiency often presents itself as a yellowing of the grass leaf. Be careful when applying nitrogen-rich fertiliser, as too much fertiliser can result in poor root development, thatch build-up and leaf burn. Stick to a well-balanced fertiliser, applying as instructed for best results. You should always water in your fertiliser after applying with a nice, deep soak to avoid burning your grass.
Following the above steps will help revive your lawn. Additionally, dog rocks can be used to help manage pet urine burns.
A final note
Choosing the right lawn type is one of the main factors in how your lawn will perform over summer.
Ultimately, for the best performing grass in summer you want a drought-tolerant variety. Warm-season turf types like Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo is the ideal all-rounder, performing well in both cool climates and drought conditions. If changing your turf isn’t an option for you right now, the above tips will easily help you to achieve a green lawn that is summer-ready.
If you are interested in learning more about our drought-tolerant turf varieties, get in touch with one of our friendly turf specialists! They will be happy to answer any questions you may have about turf types, lawn maintenance and lawn care products.