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Summer Lawn Care Tips

Summer Lawn Care Tips

By Jenny Biczak, Harmony Brands
Photographs courtesy of Harmony Brands

No one wants to spend a summer dealing with two of the biggest threats to the appearance and health of a lawn: drought and grubs. A little preparation and prevention can save your lawn and your sanity. Here are our tips.

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Mark Your Calendar

Take time to schedule regular fertilizing and watering to make your lawn as healthy as possible ahead of the drought season. A healthy lawn with deep, established roots will fare better in times of drought.

Mow with Intention

Make sure your blades are sharpened and at the right height. Never cut more than 1/3 of the height of your lawn. In times of drought, raise the mowing height to reduce stress.

Strategize Watering

  • Water your lawn in the morning or early evening to ensure saturation while avoiding disease. Water deeply and infrequently.
  • Once drought conditions begin to set in, identify areas of the lawn that need more attention due to their location or elevation. Sloped sections with water runoff or areas close to buildings that receive more heat will need extra attention.
  • Determine areas that you are willing to let go dormant during the drought to focus your limited water supply on prime or high value areas of lawn.

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How Do I Know if My Lawn Gets Enough Water?

The tuna can test is a great way to ensure you are watering your lawn enough. It’s easy as one, two, three:

  1. Turn on your sprinkler system.
  2. Place an empty tuna can in the area you are watering. If you don’t have a tuna can, just make sure your container is at least one inch tall and has straight sides.
  3. Time how long it takes to fill the can to one inch of water.

That time is how long your sprinklers should run twice a week.

Summer is Grub Season

Lawn grubs, often called white grubs, are the larvae of various beetles in your region, such as Japanese, June or chafer beetles. They damage your lawn from below, feeding on organic matter and grass roots, causing sections of grass to die.

Locating and identifying grubs is simple:

  • Use a shovel to dig up a few frisbee-size samples of bare, brown or softened spots of turf.
  • Dig down to a depth of two inches and look for one-inch long, C-shaped white grubs.
  • Ten grubs per square is a clear indicator of a grub infestation and they should be treated to prevent future damage and spread.
  • Another indicator would be an increased presence of animals that feed on the larvae, such as birds and moles. 

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Treatment and Prevention

Once you have identified the grubs, treat the affected areas with an insecticide, such as Bayer Dylox® 6.2 or Scotts® GrubEX®. When used as directed, Scotts® GrubEX® can also be effective in controlling mole crickets, sod webworms, chinch bugs, cutworms and other insects. Bayer Dylox® 6.2 should only be used when grubs are present.

For more information, visit Harmony Brands, the nation’s #1 selling sod, available at local home improvement centers in the United States and Canada.

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By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

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