How is your lawn doing? My lawn is beginning to feel the effects of the strong July sunshine and hot weather. Officially, the high temperature reached 87 degrees yesterday afternoon at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, and today's forecast is 88 degrees. Six of the seven days this month have featured high temperatures of 85 degrees or higher, and the average monthly temperature is 75.9 degrees, which is 2.6 degrees above normal.
I've been watering the lawn every day for the last week. However, you may wonder when is the best time to water the lawn? According to allaboutlawns.com, the best time to turn on your sprinkler is about 5 o'clock in the morning. Why? "Early morning watering is best due to the lack of evaporation that takes place, low winds that can blow you lawn dry, high humidity, and morning dew that adds to the moisture.
"Early morning watering helps to prevent lawn diseases that can be caused by watering at night because it gives your lawn time to dry by night fall. Obviously, this can be best accomplished with a sprinkler system, unless you just can't sleep, especially during the Summer months."
Here's another tip. Try watering a day before you plan on mowing your lawn if you dislike the browning that forms on the tips of the grass afterwards. This will allow your lawn to recover from the cutting and help it to look nicer as a result. Did you know that during the hottest Summer months, the surface of your closely cropped lawn can easily climb two dozen degrees above the outdoor air temperature? Heat is a killer.
So is moisture loss, which occurs when the lawn is cut too frequently during high temperatures. Heat-stressed, dry lawns are extremely susceptible to insects, spotting, weeds, and root disease as they try to heal from literally being scalped. Many of my neighbors hire lawn cutters who appear at the same time every week to mow the lawns, whether they need it or not. I don't think I'll cut my lawn this weekend. It just doesn't need it.
According to allaboutlawns.com, "It's important to realize that mowing actually creates a routine lawn injury. You can minimize the damage by using sharp blades and mowing in cooler morning or evening hours, but only when the lawn is dry. In the Summer months, you may have to mow more frequently, but always mow at a higher cut. If you're cutting more than 1/3 of the total height of the grass, you're scalping it.
Take care when mowing your lawn this Summer. Properly mowed lawns retain moisture, fostering deeper root growth, and the healthy blades of grass produce more of the nutrients necessary for your lawn to thrive in difficult conditions. So, even in the driest and warmest time of the year, it is possible to keep your lawn watered regularly and cut when needed.