7 summer lawn care tips for healthy, green grass.


Finally, the weather is getting a little nicer, and it feels glorious to relax and play in the yard after being cooped up indoors for so long. But is your lawn looking a little dry or patchy after enduring a harsh winter and spring?

Use this lawn care guide to ensure you have lush, thick and green grass growing in your yard all season long. Avoid weeds, brown spots and other damage with these easy summer lawn care tips.

1. Don’t cut your grass too short.

tall grass bladesWe all know that mowing your lawn is an essential component of lawn maintenance. But did you know that if you mow your lawn too short during the summer, you could severely damage and stress your grass? This is called “scalping,” and it can expose your lawn to too much heat and sunlight, making it harder for your grass to thrive — and easier for weeds to pop up. 

Typically, you don’t want to remove more than one-third of your grass blade unless your grass is extremely high and needs to come down lower. The National Association of Landscape Professionals recommends that you keep your warm-season grasses (like Bermuda grass or Zoysia) between 1 to 3 inches high during the summer. And if you live in a region that’s experiencing a drought and high temperatures, maintain the tallest recommended height for your grass. 

Here are some of the benefits of having taller grass blades:

  • They can help your soil stay cool and protect it from the sun.
  • They can help you prevent weeds.
  • They’re softer to walk on.
  • They can hide thin, patchy areas in your lawn.

Your mower has settings that control how high or low the blade is hitting the grass. Consult your manual for specific steps on how to change the settings, if needed. Keep in mind your grass may require a different height depending on the species and its conditions. 

When in doubt (or if you don’t want to spend those hot summer days sweating outside while pushing a lawn mower), hire a lawn mowing professional and schedule regular service. 

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2. Aerate your lawn if you have warm-season grass. 

If your soil is compacted, your roots will have a hard time getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow strong. That’s where aeration comes in. Properly aerating and dethatching your lawn is one of the keys to growing luscious, green grass.

Your lawn doesn’t always have to be aerated during the summer, but there are some instances when aeration can be helpful. If you have warm-season grass, early summer (or late spring) is often the best time to aerate your lawn. Lawns that see heavy use over the summer may also benefit from aeration.

Talk to a lawn care professional to find out if now is the best time to aerate your lawn.

3. Don’t overwater your lawn.

little girl playing in sprinklersSome homeowners believe that just because it’s hotter outside, their lawn needs to be watered more regularly during the summer. That’s not always the case. In fact, overwatering your grass could cause diseases and weed growth.

Not sure when to water your grass? Or how much water is too much during the summer? Just keep this tip in mind: your lawn should be getting about 1 inch to 1 ½ inch of water every week during the summer. This may mean you water your lawn only a few times every week. 

The morning (usually before 9 a.m.) is the best time of the day to water your grass. Watering early in the day gives your lawn a chance to soak the water in. If you water at night, your lawn may experience disease and fungus issues. Also, watering your lawn when the sun is high during the afternoon is a waste of time, money and water — the heat will evaporate the moisture before it reaches the roots.

If you’re not sure if your grass is ready for more water, use this piece of advice from the Environment Protection Agency: step on it. If it springs back, you don’t need to water your grass right now.

Pro tip: Make sure your irrigation system is working properly. Check for broken sprinkler heads, run-off and unusual puddles of water. If you suspect there’s a problem, hire a lawn sprinkler professional to inspect and fix your system.

4. Try grasscycling.

Do you mow your lawn with a bag? Or spend hours raking up grass clippings? You may be wasting time and money. Instead, give grasscycling a try.

What is grasscycling? When you grass cycle, you’re leaving the grass clippings wherever they fall on your lawn. The clippings — which contain nutrients and moisture — go back into the soil and act as an effective fertilizer. They can also help you reduce how often you need to water your lawn. 

The best part? You’re also helping the environment by reducing watering requirements and waste.

5. Maintain your lawn mower.

mowing the lawnMowing is vital to maintaining a healthy, green lawn during summer. But you can’t mow properly if your lawn mower is in terrible shape. Broken wheels, damaged blades and other problems can result in uneven mowing and other issues.

Add inspecting your mower to your summer lawn care routine. Look for dull, damaged or worn blades. For dull blades, see if you get them sharpened. If not, you could end up with ragged grass blades that will turn yellow or brown. 

Changing out your old blades even before you start noticing problems is a great preventative maintenance task. But even with new blades, you’ll want to periodically check them — especially if you hear a loud sound while mowing, which could indicate you hit something like a rock, sticks or that toy that’s been missing for weeks.

It’s also smart to have an extra set of blades on hand. This way, you can rotate the blades and get back to mowing right away. But if your lawn mower is severely damaged, take it to a repair specialist near you.

6. Feed your lawn (as needed).

There are a few times throughout the year you should consider fertilizing your lawn. Feeding your lawn in the early summer can help grow it strong, protecting your grass from the heat and drought-like conditions. 

However, avoid fertilizing your lawn in hot weather, which can burn your lawn and cause weed growth. Overfertilizing your grass could also burn your lawn, so don’t apply too much. Lastly, don’t fertilize cool-season grass in the summer — wait until the fall and spring. If you have warm-season grass, it’s recommended that you add fertilizer in late spring or early summer.

You can also consider applying “summer lawn food” products as needed. The purpose of these products is to help water penetrate dry soil and promote strong, healthy grass roots during the hot summer months. If you’re unsure if your lawn needs a boost, talk to a lawn care professional first. 


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7. Create a summer lawn care schedule — but change course when necessary.

Creating a summer lawn care schedule can help you keep track of when to complete different maintenance tasks — especially watering, mowing and fertilizing. 

That being said, don't get too hung up on your summer lawn care schedule. Don’t set it in stone because you may need to adjust it depending on the weather, plant growth and other factors. 

For example, wet grass isn’t ideal for mowing. If it rains during the summer, hold off on mowing. On the other hand, you may need to mow more often when your grass grows too high and becomes an eyesore. 

A lawn care professional can help you create a semi-flexible schedule that works well for your lawn’s needs.

green grass lawn

Thumbtack pros can help your lawn thrive this summer.

It’s completely understandable if you have better things to do than take care of your lawn during the summer. Maybe work gets busy or you have travel plans. And lawn maintenance can be physically draining — who really wants to spend hours under the hot sun mowing, watering or fertilizing the yard?

That’s why Thumbtack is here. Look for local lawn care services that can help you maintain a beautiful, healthy lawn during the summer so you get time and energy back.

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