How to Keep Your Lawn Green in the Summer Heat

As the sun blazes high and temperatures soar during the summer months, maintaining a lush green lawn can feel like an uphill battle. The scorching heat and dry spells can quickly turn your once-vibrant grass into a patchy brown landscape. Yet, with the right strategies and a little TLC, it's possible to keep your lawn verdant and inviting throughout the hottest days of the year.

In this guide, we'll explore effective techniques to help you combat the summer heat and nurture a thriving lawn. From understanding your lawn's unique needs to implementing sustainable practices, we'll cover everything you need to know to keep your outdoor oasis looking its best. So, grab your gardening gloves, and let's dive into the art of maintaining a green lawn in the face of summer's relentless heat.

The Impact of Hot Weather on Lawns

A well-tended lawn is more than just an aesthetic feature; it's a living ecosystem that plays a vital role in the environment and your property's overall health. However, when temperatures rise, your lawn faces significant challenges that can compromise its vitality and appearance.

Effects of Heat Stress on Grass

  • Reduced photosynthesis: High temperatures can hinder the grass's ability to photosynthesize, the process essential for producing energy and nutrients. This can lead to stunted growth and weakened turf.
  • Increased water loss: Heat accelerates evaporation, causing the soil to dry out quickly. As a result, grassroots struggle to access the water they need, leading to dehydration and wilting.
  • Thinning and browning: Prolonged exposure to heat stress can cause grass blades to become brittle and turn brown or yellow. In severe cases, patches of grass may die off entirely, leaving bare spots in your lawn.
  • Susceptibility to pests and diseases: Stressed grass is more susceptible to attacks from pests and diseases, further weakening its resilience and vigor.

Common Signs of Heat Damage

  • Wilting: Grass blades may appear limp and droopy, signaling a lack of water and heat stress.
  • Browning: Areas of the lawn may turn brown or yellow, indicating damage from heat and dehydration.
  • Thinning and patchiness: Sparse areas and bare patches may develop as grass struggles to survive under extreme heat conditions.
  • Compacted soil: Heat stress can exacerbate soil compaction, hindering root growth and nutrient uptake.

Give Your Lawn What It Needs

A beautiful, green lawn starts with a solid understanding of your lawn's specific requirements. Every lawn is unique, influenced by factors such as climate, soil composition, and grass type. By familiarizing yourself with these key elements, you'll be better equipped to provide the care and attention your lawn needs to thrive — even in the hottest summer conditions.

Grass Types Suitable for Your Region's Climate

  • Research the grass species best suited to your local climate and growing conditions.
  • Consider factors such as heat tolerance, drought resistance, and maintenance requirements when selecting grass varieties for your lawn.

If you’re not sure which type of grass you have, check out our blog: Identifying Grass Types. 

Soil Composition and pH Levels

  • Test your soil to assess its composition and pH levels.
  • Different grass species thrive in different soil types, so understanding your soil's characteristics is essential for successful lawn care.
  • Make adjustments to soil pH, if necessary, to create an optimal growing environment for your grass.

Water Requirements and Irrigation Methods

  • Determine your lawn's water requirements based on factors such as grass type, soil moisture levels, and weather conditions.
  • Invest in an efficient irrigation system that delivers water evenly across your lawn.
  • Consider factors such as evaporation rates and soil absorption when establishing a watering schedule to ensure your lawn receives the right amount of moisture.

Understanding these fundamental aspects of your lawn will lay the groundwork for effective summer lawn care practices. By tailoring your approach to meet the specific needs of your grass and soil, you'll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy, green lawn throughout the summer months.

Related: Soil Test Kit Results Back: What Next?

Grass Types That Can Handle Hot Weather

When it comes to selecting grass types that are most drought-resistant, certain varieties are known for their ability to withstand prolonged periods of dry weather and still remain relatively healthy and green. Here are some of the most drought-resistant grass types:

warm-season grasses that can handle hot weather
cool-season grass types that can handle hot weather

Of course, being able to tolerate the heat does not mean that these types of grass don’t need proper watering. All grass types need proper care to be healthy and vibrant.

Related: What Is the Best Soil for Green Lawns?

Effective Watering Techniques

effective lawn watering techniques

Most grasses require 1-1.5” of water per week to do well. Proper watering is essential for maintaining a green lawn during the scorching summer heat. Inadequate watering can lead to dry, stressed grass, while overwatering may promote disease and weed growth. By mastering effective watering techniques, you can ensure that your lawn receives the hydration it needs to thrive, even in the hottest weather.

Establishing a Watering Schedule

Develop a watering schedule based on your lawn's specific requirements and local climate conditions. Consider factors such as rainfall, temperature, and soil moisture levels when determining how often to water your lawn. Aim for deep, infrequent watering sessions rather than frequent shallow watering to encourage deep root growth and drought resistance.

Deep Watering vs. Frequent Shallow Watering

Deep watering allows moisture to penetrate the soil deeply, reaching the root zone where it's needed most. Shallow watering, on the other hand, only wets the surface of the soil, leading to shallow root systems and increased vulnerability to drought. Adjust your watering practices to promote deep root growth by providing enough moisture to penetrate several inches below the surface.

Using Sprinklers, Soaker Hoses, or Drip Irrigation Systems

Choose the appropriate watering method based on your lawn's size, shape, and water requirements. Sprinklers are ideal for large, open areas, while soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to the root zone with minimal waste. Ensure that your watering equipment is properly calibrated and maintained to maximize efficiency and water conservation.

Early Morning or Late Evening Watering

Water your lawn during the early morning or late evening hours to minimize water loss through evaporation. Avoid watering during the heat of the day, when the sun is at its peak and temperatures are highest. By timing your watering sessions strategically, you can maximize the effectiveness of each watering and reduce water waste.

Soil Moisture Management

A genius product for conserving water and maintaining a lush, green lawn during hot weather is Hydretain Liquid Soil Moisture Manager. This innovative lawn moisture manager works by drawing humidity from the air and bringing that moisture down into your grass root system. By effectively harnessing atmospheric moisture, Hydretain can significantly reduce the watering requirements of your lawn by up to 50% or more, making it an excellent tool for conserving water during dry, hot conditions.

One of Hydretain’s key benefits is its ability to maintain soil moisture, which is crucial for keeping grass healthy and vibrant when temperatures soar. This technology is widely used by golf courses, towns, and municipalities to reduce water bills and ensure their lawns remain green and healthy even in the hottest weather.

For best results, Hydretain should be applied to soil that already has some moisture. It's recommended to apply it after it has rained or after watering your lawn. Following application, it is essential to water it within 24 hours with a full 1/2” of water to ensure the product penetrates the soil effectively. Once in the soil, Hydretain will continue to draw moisture from the air and sustain your lawn for up to 90 days.

For regions with shorter growing seasons, such as Montana, a single application in June can suffice for the summer. In contrast, areas with longer seasons, like Texas or Florida, might require two applications approximately 60 days apart to maintain optimal lawn moisture throughout the extended hot period.

Hydretain is versatile and can be used on all grass types, including cool-season lawns like Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue, as well as warm-season lawns such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. It can be applied through various methods, including hose-end sprayers, tanks, or backpack sprayers, with a large droplet nozzle recommended for backpack sprayers.

By incorporating Hydretain into your lawn care routine, you can ensure your grass remains green and healthy during the hottest parts of the year, reducing water usage and maintaining an attractive lawn with less effort.


Proper Lawn Mowing Practices

Mowing is a fundamental aspect of lawn care that significantly influences the health and appearance of your grass, especially during the summer months. Proper mowing practices not only help maintain a neat and tidy lawn but also promote strong root growth and resilience to heat stress. 

Setting the Mower at the Correct Height

  • Adjust your mower's cutting height based on the recommended mowing height for your grass species.
  • Avoid cutting your grass too short, as this can stress the plants and increase water loss through evaporation.
  • Aim to remove no more than one-third of the grass blade length with each mowing session to promote healthy growth and maintain a dense turf canopy.
lawn mowing height guide

Avoiding Mowing during Extreme Heat

Schedule mowing sessions during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon. Avoid mowing during periods of extreme heat, as this can put additional stress on the grass and increase the risk of heat damage. If you must mow during hot weather, consider raising the cutting height slightly to reduce stress on the grass and minimize moisture loss.

Mulching Grass Clippings to Retain Moisture

Leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing to return valuable nutrients to the soil and help retain moisture. Mulching grass clippings can provide a natural source of fertilizer.

Ensure that your mower's mulching blade is sharp and properly adjusted to achieve optimal mulching results without leaving behind clumps of grass.

Fertilization and Soil Health

Fertilization plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn, especially during the summer months when grass faces increased stress from heat and drought. By providing essential nutrients and fostering soil health, you can ensure your lawn remains green and resilient throughout the season. Here's how to effectively fertilize your lawn and promote soil health:

Choose the Right Fertilizers and Supplements

Select a high-quality fertilizer formulated specifically for your grass type and soil conditions. Consider slow-release fertilizers, which provide a steady supply of nutrients over an extended period, reducing the risk of nutrient leaching and burn. Supplement your lawn with micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, and calcium to address any deficiencies and promote lush, healthy growth.

A great fertilizer that ticks all these boxes is Complete 14-7-14 - Lebanon Country Club Fertilizer. It is a premium fertilizer designed to keep your lawn lush and green, even during the hottest summer months. With a balanced formulation of 14% nitrogen, 7% phosphorus, and 14% potassium, it provides essential nutrients for robust grass growth. 

The fast-release nitrogen ensures a quick green-up within 5-7 days, while the slow-release Meth-Ex nitrogen prevents overgrowth, making it ideal for maintaining golf course-quality grass at home. The addition of micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, and manganese promotes vibrant green color and addresses nutrient deficiencies. Furthermore, the inclusion of sea kelp and humic acid enhances soil health and improves fertilizer uptake, supporting overall plant health.

Country Club Complete 14-7-14 is suitable for both warm and cool-season lawns. It contains non-burning sulfate of potash potassium, which is immediately available to the grass and includes sulfur for additional plant benefits. This fertilizer is particularly effective when watered in within 48 hours, ensuring visible results in less than a week. 

For optimal results, apply every 4-6 weeks during growth periods, and switch to the Country Club Stress fertilizer during extreme summer heat for cool season lawns. Give your lawn the best care with Country Club Complete 14-7-14 fertilizer and enjoy a lush, green oasis all summer long.

14-7-14 Fertilizer on Lawn

If you prefer using liquid fertilizer, we highly recommend our very own Golf Course Lawn Micronutrient Blend - Liquid Fertilizer (with 2% Iron). It is designed to meet the micronutrient needs of your lawn, ensuring a lush and deep green color even in hot weather. This custom blend includes essential micronutrients like boron, copper, chelated iron, molybdenum, manganese, and zinc, all available via foliar uptake, meaning they are absorbed directly through the leaves for faster and more efficient nutrient delivery. There's no need to water it in; simply spray and expect to see a deep green color in just 2-3 days. Enhanced with seaweed extract and fulvic acid, this blend promotes quick results and better nutrient uptake.

Suitable for all grass types, including both cool-season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf Type Tall Fescue, and warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and St. Augustine, this fertilizer is versatile and effective across different lawns. The inclusion of kelp hormones further enhances nutrient uptake and supports overall plant health, making it an excellent choice for maintaining a vibrant lawn during the summer. Additionally, Golf Course Lawn Micronutrient Blend is formulated to address nutrient availability issues associated with pH extremes, ensuring your lawn gets the necessary nutrients regardless of soil conditions.

For best results, apply using a 4-gallon backpack sprayer with a TeeJet foliar spray tip, either alone or tank mixed with other products such as biostimulants or Primo Maxx Plant Growth Regulator. This product is ideal for frequent use whenever your grass is actively growing, ensuring continuous nutrient supply and optimal lawn health throughout the growing season.

Golf Course Lawn Micros Fertilizer

Applying Fertilizers According to Grass Needs

Avoid over-fertilizing, as excessive nitrogen can lead to rapid growth, increased water consumption, and susceptibility to pests and diseases. Apply fertilizers when the grass is actively growing and can efficiently utilize the nutrients, typically in the spring and early summer.

Aerating Compacted Soil to Improve Air and Water Penetration

Periodically aerate your lawn to alleviate soil compaction and promote better air and water penetration. Core aeration removes plugs of soil, allowing oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots more effectively. Aerating your lawn in the spring or fall can help rejuvenate stressed turf and enhance overall soil health.

By prioritizing fertilization and soil health, you can provide your lawn with the essential nutrients and conditions it needs to thrive, even in the face of summer heat. With proper fertilization practices and soil amendments, you'll support strong root growth, improve drought tolerance, and maintain a lush green lawn throughout the summer months.

Related: How to Core Aerate Your Lawn

Providing Shade and Protection

lawn shade and protection

The intense summer sun can take a toll on your lawn, causing heat stress and dehydration. Providing adequate shade and protection can help mitigate these effects, keeping your grass healthy and green even in the hottest weather. If you have a really large open lawn, this will be more difficult to achieve, but if you have a smaller yard, here's how to create a sheltered environment for your lawn:

Planting Trees or Installing Shade Structures

Strategically plant trees around your lawn to provide natural shade and reduce exposure to direct sunlight. Choose trees with dense foliage and broad canopies that can effectively block the sun's rays without obstructing airflow.

Alternatively, consider installing shade structures such as pergolas, umbrellas, or awnings to create shaded areas where your lawn can escape the sun's harsh rays.

Using Natural Barriers to Shield the Lawn

Use hedges, shrubs, or trellises to create natural barriers that can shield your lawn from strong winds and excessive sun exposure. Select dense, evergreen plants that can provide year-round protection and privacy for your lawn.

Position barriers strategically to block prevailing winds and create microclimates conducive to healthy grass growth.

Avoiding Heavy Foot Traffic During Peak Heat Hours

Minimize foot traffic on your lawn during the hottest parts of the day to prevent compaction and damage to the grass. Encourage family members and pets to use designated pathways or shaded areas to reduce stress on the turf.

Consider installing stepping stones or walkways to provide access to different lawn areas without trampling the grass.

Related: Your Summer Lawn Care Schedule

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

Pests and diseases can wreak havoc on your lawn, especially when temperatures rise during the summer months. Implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) approach can help you effectively manage these threats while minimizing reliance on chemical pesticides. Here's how to protect your lawn from common pests and diseases:

Identifying Common Lawn Pests and Diseases

  • Learn to recognize signs of pest infestations and disease symptoms, such as yellowing or wilting grass, brown patches, or unusual spots on the leaves.
  • Common lawn pests include grubs, chinch bugs, armyworms, and whiteflies, while diseases like brown patch, dollar spot, and powdery mildew can also pose significant threats.
  • Regularly inspect your lawn for signs of pests and diseases, and take prompt action to address any issues before they escalate.

Implementing Natural Pest Control Methods

  • Encourage natural predators such as ladybugs, spiders, and birds to help control pest populations in your lawn.
  • Use biological control agents such as nematodes or beneficial microbes to target specific pests while minimizing harm to beneficial insects and wildlife.
  • Consider using natural repellents or deterrents, such as garlic spray or diatomaceous earth, to discourage pests from infesting your lawn.
  • Use organic pesticides such as Mirimichi Green Non-Toxic Pest Control.

Mirimichi Green Pest Control is a non-toxic insecticide and is an excellent choice for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) due to its all-natural, FIFRA25(b) Exempt formulation and proven effectiveness against a wide range of pests, including mosquitoes, fleas, ants, chiggers, chinch bugs, whiteflies and more. This product functions as an adulticide, pheromone interrupter, deterrent, repellent, and larvicide, providing comprehensive pest control by disrupting the egg cycles and preventing future outbreaks.

One of the key advantages of Mirimichi Green Pest Control is its unique carbon ingredient, which enhances ground penetration and activates the product to effectively eliminate pests. This not only kills adult insects but also eradicates larvae on contact, ensuring long-term pest management and reducing the likelihood of future infestations.

Safety is a paramount feature of Mirimichi Green Pest Control. It can be safely sprayed around people, pets, and plants (when used as directed) with an immediate re-entry time after the spray has settled, making it ideal for various outdoor environments. The proprietary formula has a citrus scent and provides lasting protection for 14-28 days, making it convenient and effective for continuous use.

Non-Toxic Pest Control

Regular Inspection and Prompt Treatment of Infestations

  • Monitor your lawn regularly for signs of pest activity or disease outbreaks, especially during periods of warm, humid weather.
  • If you detect signs of infestation or disease, take immediate action to address the problem using the least toxic methods available.
  • Remove and destroy heavily infested or diseased plants to prevent the spread of pests and pathogens to healthy areas of the lawn.

By identifying pests and diseases early, using several control methods, and taking prompt action, you can protect your lawn and preserve its health and vitality throughout the summer months.

Related: Integrated Pest Management: A Sustainable and Holistic
Approach to Lawn Care

Conserving Water and Energy

Conserving Water and Energy

Water conservation and energy efficiency are essential considerations for sustainable lawn care, particularly during the summer when water resources may be limited and energy usage tends to increase. By adopting water-efficient practices, you can minimize your environmental footprint while maintaining a healthy, green lawn. Here's how to conserve water in your lawn care routine:

Investing in Water-Efficient Irrigation Systems

  • Upgrade to water-efficient irrigation systems such as drip irrigation or smart sprinkler controllers that adjust watering schedules based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels.
  • Install rain sensors or moisture sensors to prevent overwatering and ensure that irrigation is only applied when needed.
  • Consider using rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for use in irrigating your lawn and garden, reducing reliance on municipal water supplies.

Related: How Often Should I Water My Lawn?

Maintaining a lush, green lawn during the summer heat requires careful attention to detail and a commitment to sustainable lawn care practices. By understanding your lawn's unique needs, implementing effective watering techniques, and prioritizing soil health and fertilization, you can create an environment where grass thrives despite the challenges of hot weather.

Shop now at the Golf Course Lawn Store for products that will keep your lawn healthy in all weather conditions.