With the sun streaming and the weather warm, it’s prime time for barefoot backyard jaunts. But extended periods of sunshine and potential droughts can also wreak havoc on a lawn’s health and growth. Here are a few tips for maintaining a lush green lawn during the peak summer months.

Wise watering

Grass is extra-thirsty in the heat of the summer but letting the sprinklers go midday means much of that precious moisture is lost to evaporation. Instead, water your lawn early in the morning or late at night. Grass enjoys an infrequent yet deep and thorough watering as opposed to light daily watering.

Combat weeds with seeds

Weeds are the scourge of any lawn owner. Instead of resorting to harsh herbicides for weed control, reach for a simple bag of grass seed. The idea here is to get your grass growing so well that the weeds need to compete with it for soil and sunshine which hopefully prevents their proliferation. Weeds will grow best in areas of your lawn where the grass is thin so thicken up sparse areas by seeding. Don’t forget to apply some triple mix in the area as well so the seeds have opportunity to take root.

Play gently

Luscious green grass is meant to be played on and enjoyed, but consider engaging in responsible lawn use to help your grass grow greener. After play, make sure to pick up toys and games left on the grass. Pet waste from the family pooch can also cause dry spots on an otherwise healthy lawn, so pick up after your dog and flush urine spots with water. The best practice would be to create an area with mulch or pebbles where the dog can be trained to relieve itself without harming the grass.

Mindful mowing

There’s a bit of an art to summertime mowing. Cutting the grass too short can stress the plants, especially in high heat, so raise the cutting length of your lawn mower to 2.5 to 3 inches to prevent this. Ensure that you’re never removing more than a third of leaf surface with each mowing. Longer grass helps to shade roots and prevents rapid evaporation from the soil, drying out the grass. Ensure your mower blades are freshly sharpened as dull blades tear as opposed to cut. And instead of raking after moving, leave the clippings behind to help shade and fertilize.