Fall and winter might be the last things on your mind during the hot days of August, but August is just the right time to begin preparing your lawn for colder months. There is also plenty to do to maintain a healthy lawn during the dog days of summer, and the work you do in August will benefit your lawn into the fall and winter. Spend a little time in the mornings or evenings taking care of your lawn to keep it looking lush and attractive while also avoiding the midday August heat.
- Pull weeds when you notice them. A weed here or there won’t damage your lawn, but a large number of weeds will suck the moisture from your grass, which needs adequate water during the hot days of August.
- Mow your lawn using the longest blade setting possible. The hot days of August can bake your grass, causing it to turn brown. Mowing the grass longer helps provide shade to the blades and also helps the lawn retain moisture.
- Aerate the lawn if it is compacted and water pools rather than soaking in. Rent an aerator from a local home improvement store or hire a lawn company to do it for you. The holes left by the aerator allow more oxygen and moisture to reach the roots of the lawn, preventing the grass from turning brown or dying.
- Water your lawn two to four times per week. Use a sprinkler to provide each area of your lawn with about 6 inches of moisture. Water in the early morning or late evening so the majority of the water reaches the roots rather than evaporates in the hot summer air.
- Apply nitrogen-based fertilizer two or three days after you water your lawn. The nitrogen encourages the grass to continue growing. This will help prevent browning and bare spots.
- Consider “grasscycling” as an alternative to traditional fertilizer. To grasscycle, mow your lawn but allow the clippings to fall back into the grass rather then collecting them and throwing them away. The nutrients in the clippings will absorb into the soil when you water the lawn, which feeds the roots. It also helps the lawn retain moisture despite the heat.
- Sprinkle grass seed in bare patches and areas that have turned brown in the August heat. Water the grass seeds daily until they sprout. Do this in the early morning or late evening so most of the water reaches the seeds rather than evaporates.
August Lawn Care
- Keep an eye out for lawn diseases and fungus – especially as humidity rises.
- Treat with liquid lawn fungicides
- Watch for grubs and other lawn insects
- Fertilize with organic, slow-release fertilizer
- Never fertilize dormant turf
- Prepare to overseed and kill weeds
- Depending on weed type, use broadleaf weed killers and/or crabgrass killers
- Best time to renovate your lawn
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