Find out how to simplify summer lawn care  so that you can relax in your garden.

The lovely thing about lawns is that they virtually look after themselves in the summertime.  There’s no need for time consuming jobs like scarifying and aerating, all you really need to do is a little bit of mowing and some feeding.

Of course if you’re a really keen lawn lover, you can find things to keep yourself busy with.  Me?  I’m planning on taking it easy.

Summer Lawn Care: Mowing

Your lawn will still need regular mowing all through the summer.  Mowing encourages fresh new shoots to spring up from the ground.  That’s what keeps the sward thick and velvety and lovely to sit on.

It’s a good idea to raise the mower blades a little in hot weather.  Longer grass copes with drought more efficiently and it keeps its colour better.  It’s also a lot stronger and stands up to wear and tear a lot better – which is important for a family lawn during the summer holidays.

Growth rates will be slower than in springtime. Some weeks you may only nip off a few stalky bits of longer grass, particularly if the weather is dry.  Do it anyway.  It won’t take long and it will help to keep the grass in good heart.

Remember to keep those mower blades sharp.  Maybe take time to give the mower a quick service while you’re at it.

Summer Lawn Care: Feeding

If the weather is wet (and it is today), it’s a good idea to apply lawn feed.  Even if the grass isn’t growing as quickly on the surface, you can be sure that the roots are still working hard and still need to be nourished.

Use a spring-summer formulation until the end of august and then switch to autumn-winter feed.

Furniture, Picnic rugs, tents and Paddling pools

These are summer essentials in my garden – they’re also bad for the lawn if they stay in one place for too long.

Be sure to move items around the lawn at least every couple of days or so.  That way you won’t end up with big ugly patches of yellow grass.

weeding the lawn
Stubborn perennial weeds such as dandelions can be controlled in the summer by digging out the plants.

Going On Holiday?

If you’re off on holiday, the last thing you should worry about is your lawn.  Grass is incredibly resilient, it won’t normally come to any harm if it’s left to its own devices for a couple of weeks.

IF however, you have a newly turfed lawn, you really ought to ask a friend or neighbour to pop in every day and water it.  If it’s allowed to dry out at this stage it could die.

Ornamental lawns made from fine grasses might not take kindly to having their mowing regime changed.   Again, perhaps a friend could run the mower over it a couple of times whilst you’re away.  Having said that, if the lawn is in good condition before you go on holiday, it can soon be restored to its former glory.

When you return from your holiday, don’t be tempted to cut 2 weeks-worth of growth off in one go.  Raise the height of your mower blades and only take off a little bit of grass to start with.  Reduce the length of the grass over a period of 2-3 weeks.  Gently does it and you won’t stress the grass.

Summer Lawn Care: Watering

Other than newly laid turf, watering the lawn is a big no-no in my book.   Ok, so it might look a bit brown in hot dry weather but that’s how grass copes with adverse conditions.   As soon as it starts raining again your lawn will green up.

watering lawn
Newly laid turf must be kept well hydrated but there is no need to water established lawns in summer.

There are a few tricks of the trade you can try to keep your lawn greener for longer.  You’ll find them in my article about waterwise gardening.

Read more about waterwise gardening here

Summer Lawn Care: Weeding

Weeds really show up in a lawn during the summer when the grass is stressed by hot weather.   Now is a good time to dig up dandelions.  It’s not a great time to be throwing herbicides around willy-nilly though.  Troublesome weeds can be spot-treated with glyphosate gel.


Lawn pests and how to deal with them

Visit our knowledge base for more tips on summer lawn care