Lawn care during the summer is challenging. Recruiting a lawn care service to navigate your lawn’s needs saves you the headache of battling drought, disease, insects, and weeds bestowed by a typical Iowa summer. But Smitty’s Lawn and Landscape understands the pride that comes from maintaining a yard that makes people ask, “How do you keep it so nice this time of year?”
In this article, we have the answers with our top tips on summer lawn care in Iowa.
Summer Lawn Care Basics
Grass growth nearly halts in high summer temperatures. If grass isn’t getting enough water and nutrients during these hot, stressful times, it goes dormant. Trying to resurrect your grass with excessive treatments is only going to result in waterlogged, unhealthy turf prone to lawn disease.
Still, no lawn is a lost cause. Here are some basic summer lawn care tips from a lawn care service that’s been in the business since 2004:
- Water your grass in the early morning so soil can absorb and hold moisture throughout the heat of the day.
- Keep your blades sharp. Dull lawn mower blades result in frayed, weakened grass that is more prone to disease and insect infestations.
- Mow your lawn regularly, and keep grass around 3-3.5 inches tall to shade soil, block weed seeds, and promote deeper roots.
- Fertilize your lawn to ensure it’s getting nutrients that are scarce during summer.
- Eliminate weeds as you see them. When crabgrass and broadleaf weeds get past your spring pre-emergent application, target them with post-emergent weed control.
Save Lawn Aeration for Fall
Lawn aeration plays a huge role in vibrant, head-turning lawns by reducing soil compaction and thatch build-up. It can even serve as a preventative grub control method, saving your lawn from a lot of potential damage! Aerating your lawn in the summer, however, puts a lot of stress on grass that’s already dwindled from exhausting heat. For this reason, it’s better to wait to aerate your lawn until the fall or spring.
What About Liquid Aeration?
Liquid aeration loosens soil with a special solution instead of removing plugs with a core aerator. It’s fair to think liquid aeration is the answer to aerating your lawn in the summer, but this is still not the case. It’s best to aerate your lawn in August or September for maximum effectiveness. This is when your cool-season grass has the strength to withstand and greatly benefit from the lawn aeration process.
Apply Weed Control
Weeds love summer heat. Crabgrass and broadleaf weeds plague Iowa lawns annually, but you can reduce takeovers with the correct weed control products.
Pre-emergent Crabgrass Control
A pre-emergent is a preventative weed control applied in spring to stop weeds from forming new roots. Prevent crabgrass by coating your lawn with a pre-emergent in early spring to prep it for the summer ahead. Do another pre-emergent application in the fall to help your lawn defend against winter weeds.
- Apply evenly on your lawn.
- Don’t apply when your grass is wet.
- Water your lawn after applying.
- Reduce lawn traffic for 24 hours after application.
Post-emergent Crabgrass Control
A post-emergent herbicide is used when weeds get past your pre-emergent barrier. Post-emergent weed control can be done as a blanket treatment for lawns covered in unwanted crabgrass, or a targeted spot treatment for lawns, sidewalks, and driveways that have a few pesky weeds.
- Apply when outdoor temperature is less than 85 degrees.
- Don’t apply if your lawn has been mowed in the past 2 days.
- Don’t apply before it’s supposed to rain to avoid washing the pre-emergent away.
- Wait 48 hours after application to water your lawn.
Broadleaf Weed Control
Include Lawn Fertilization in Your Lawn Care Regimen
Nature is very good at providing soil with supportive minerals, but its inventory of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus diminishes during the summer. Lawn fertilization replenishes these essential chemicals to keep your grass green and well fed.
Your local garden center has several fertilizers to choose from. Soil testing is the surefire way to determine what works best for your lawn, which is why all our lawn care services start with a free lawn evaluation.
Effective lawn fertilization generally begins with your first application in spring, followed by treatments every 4-6 weeks until fall. All of Smitty’s lawn care programs include fertilizer applications to keep your lawn strong and healthy all year.
Call Smitty’s for Professional Lawn Care
We know you want to spend your summer enjoying your yard. You shouldn’t have to put barbeques, parties, and yard games on hold because you’re in urgent need of grub control or embarrassed by a leaf spot outbreak! Our lawn care services take the heavy lawn maintenance task list off your hands by offering packages complete with expert, year-round maintenance. Call us for a free lawn analysis.
Get to know us (and our office pup, Jack) by connecting with us on Facebook. And don’t forget to read our monthly blog for more tips and tricks on making your Iowa lawn strong, green, and healthy through all the seasons.