There’s one word that comes to mind when you think of summer: heat. But alongside that heat also comes another word that can pose a potential danger to both your house and lawn: dryness.
February might be the last month of summer, but it’s usually our hottest month of the year. Even in years where we can expect more rainfall, the sun will be shining brightly, drying up the earth underneath your lawn.
While long, dry grass is an obvious fire hazard during summer, stirring up the dust underneath your lawn can also increase the risk of fire as it spreads. So, to help protect your lawn and home this summer, our experts have put together a few tips for mowing safely during the hottest months of the year.
Keep your lawn watered
Especially in years when it’s particularly dry, keeping your lawn watered during summer is a great way to reduce how much dry dust gets into the air and into your home. Not only that, but it can also protect your lawn from heat stress and hopefully help reduce some of that dreaded yellowing grass.
Provided your area isn’t experiencing water restrictions, we recommended watering your lawn deeply and infrequently throughout the week. Watering every 2-3 days in the early morning can be highly beneficial, as it helps the water soak into your lawn to prepare it for the hottest parts of the day. If this isn’t possible, then watering at dusk is the next best option. Watering during late morning or during the afternoon will be less effective as the water will evaporate before it has a chance to really soak the soil.
If you are experiencing water restrictions, be nifty with your water saving to protect your lawn and garden. Saving buckets of water in the shower, using grey water from doing laundry, or utilising rainwater tanks if you have them will all help you repurpose water without letting your lawn suffer for it.
Don’t mow your lawn too low
We know that you want to mow the long, dry grass of your yard during summer. Not only does it look unsightly, but the dust can get up into the air and in your home, and the dry grass can pose a fire hazard.
But did you know that mowing your lawn too low could actually lead it to dry out quicker? Like with any other plant in your garden, pruning, cutting, or propagating too much means that the plant can no longer focus on growing where it needs to survive, such as down in the roots.
Your lawn won’t need the same short mow that it requires during times of lush growth, such as spring. So, lift up your mower and cut a little longer to make sure you’re not stifling the necessarily, but slow, growth that your lawn needs during summer.
Keep the soil as healthy as possible
Summer can be harsh on the soil underneath your lawn, and it might need a little more TLC than it usually does. Aside from trying to keep it watered, also try to avoid compacting the soil of your lawn where you can.
Of course, we know that you want to get out and enjoy your yard in summer, so keep an eye on areas of high foot traffic such as outdoor sports or outdoor furniture areas which will likely suffer more during summer. If you move games or walkways to different areas throughout the season you may find that one particular part of your lawn doesn’t deteriorate more than the rest.
If you think your lawn does need more than the occasional water, then fertilisation can also help to give your grass and soil the extra boost of nutrients that it needs. Keep away from mulching while mowing though, as this leaves more dry grass on the lawn and creates further risk of fire.
Check your machinery
Lastly, whether you’re a homeowner taking care of their own lawn, or a professional mower tending to the lawn of a client, it’s important to make sure your machinery is operating properly. This should be done throughout the year regardless, but is particularly important during the hot weather of summer.
A sharp mower blade will help keep your lawn healthy, making a cleaner cut and allowing the grass to heal faster to promote further growth. Clean air cleaners will help ensure that your equipment doesn’t fill up with dry dust. And a spark arrestor that is clean and fitted correctly mean less risk of a spark escaping and leading to fire, or a carbon-clogged arrestor acting as a fuel source.
Is your lawn looking a little brown this summer? Our experts at Jim’s Mowing can help nurture it back to health. Give us a call on 0800 454 654 or contact us online to find a professional mower near you.