It’s hot! These last couple days have been rough for working outside and hard on most turf grass and plants here in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. region. It’s supposed to cool off a little over the weekend, but mini-heatwaves like the current one–or perhaps more extended periods of hot weather–will likely be common occurrences for the next couple months.
Here are a few things you can do to help your lawn and landscape get through the hot summer months:
- Mow high-Your lawn probably won’t need to be cut as often in the coming weeks, and when you do cut, raising your mower blades will minimize the impact on your lawn’s health. Three-and-a-half inches is good and four inches is even better!
- Water early in the morning-Most people know that mid-day watering during hot weather leads to a lot of waste through evaporation. But watering at night, especially when it’s humid, can lead to fungal diseases in turf. If you have a sprinkler system, set it to water starting around 4 a.m. If you water with a hose, do it as early in the day as you can.
- Monitor for disease and pests-Not only can fungal problems attack your turf, they tend to affect trees and shrubs during periods of high humidity as well. If you see discolored leaves or a powdery white substance on the leaves, monitor it. Most of these problems will go away on their own, but you may need to have a treatment performed by a professional if it looks like it’s spreading. Insects like bag worms and lace bugs are common threats this time of year as well.
Take care of your lawn and landscape this summer, and, even more importantly, take care of yourself. Stay hydrated and don’t undertake a great deal of hot weather outdoor activity without giving yourself a chance to get used to it.