5 Tips for Summer Lawn Care in Minnesota

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Summer heat can take a toll on your lawn.  If you mow too low, water too much or too little, or ignore early signs of pests, your grass could quickly become lackluster or even completely die in small or large patches. Keep your lawn looking its best all summer long by following these 5 summer care tips.

1. Mow at the right height.

In summer, adjust your mower height to leave grass taller. Taller grass shades soil, which reduces water evaporation, leads to deeper roots and prevents weed seeds from germinating. Ideal mowing height varies with grass type. Time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the leaf surface at a time.

2.Water properly.

The most efficient time to water lawns is probably early in the morning hours from 4 to 8 a.m. Less water is lost to evaporation due to lower temperatures and less sunlight.

Midday watering, though good for the plants since it cools the plant temperatures and reduces heat stress, is not as efficient because some of the water evaporates before getting into the soil.

Watering in the evening should be avoided. If the grass plants go into the night-time hours wet, they will remain wet for extended periods of time. This may favor the growth and development of turfgrass diseases.

3. Treat for grubs.

Insecticides for grubs can be applied from May through mid-June, when recently overwintered grubs (larvae) start feeding. However, these grubs are large and may be difficult to kill. Starting in mid- June most grubs are in the pupal stage and insecticides are not effective. In early July adults emerge to feed on plants, mate, and then at night fly to grass to lay eggs. The best time to apply insecticides for grubs is from mid-July until early September. Granular applied insecticides distributed on soil with a spreader are usually the best insecticides

4. Clean up after your pooch.

The family dog can cause dead spots on a lawn. If you see dying grass due to your dog’s urination, flush the area with water to dilute the urine in soil. The best solution is to create a mulched or pebbled area and train your dog to use that area for bathroom breaks. Also, keep waste picked up and dispose of it properly.

5. Sharpen your mower blade.

A dull mower blade tears grass, creating ragged, brown edges that provide an opening for disease organisms. Sharpen your mower blade regularly. The rule of thumb is that a sharp blade lasts for 10 hours of mowing. Consider purchasing a second blade so you’ll always have a sharp blade at the ready.

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