Whether you’re a first-time gardener or a green-thumbed expert, keeping your lawn healthy in summer is no easy task. With extreme heat, water restrictions and pesky weeds to take care of, many homeowners are left with dry, brown and patchy lawns once the hot weather passes.
If you’re wondering how to keep grass healthy in summer, we’re here to help. From mowing tips to fertilising, watering and choosing the best turf for hot weather, we’ll show you how to beat the heat with our essential summer lawn care tips. Read on!
How to keep grass healthy in summer
While watering may seem like the most important part of keeping your lawn healthy, it’s just one of several factors to consider when planning your summer lawn care.
- Air — Your lawn needs plenty of oxygen to prevent soil compaction, which can block water from being absorbed properly. Proper aeration is essential to let water and nutrients reach the roots of your grass.
- Water — Lawns need more water in summer, but it’s important to ensure the water penetrates below the surface. Deep water penetration will make your roots stronger and keep your lawn healthier in tough climates.
- Nutrients — Feeding your lawn is a great way to nourish its root system and strengthen the blades of your grass. It also makes your lawn look greener and healthier throughout the hotter months.
- Protection — Pests, weeds and insects thrive in summer, so it’s essential to stay on top of these summer pests to prevent bald patches and keep your lawn disease-free.
Take a look at our summer lawn care guide and find out how to keep your garden thick, full and thriving this summer.
#1. Your lawn needs nutrients, so use plenty of fertiliser
Fertiliser contains essential nutrients that strengthen the roots of your grass and support healthy growth, making your lawn more resilient against the scorching summer heat.
Fertilise your lawn in spring to give it a nutrient boost before summer. This way, your lawn will be stronger, healthier and ready to take on the heat. Then, apply a slow-release fertiliser at the start of summer to keep it thriving throughout the sunny season.
#2. Mornings are the best time to water lawns in summer
It’s essential to water your lawn at the right time each day to ensure your roots get enough water to survive the heat.
Rather than watering your lawn more often, we recommend watering your lawn once per day in the morning before the heat kicks in. The morning is the best time to water lawns in summer as your soil will be at its coolest. Watering in the afternoon or evening means your soil is at its warmest and will evaporate some of the moisture. Plus, this way you can keep your lawn healthy and avoid the afternoon heat!
Water your lawn on a low setting for longer than your usual watering routine. This allows the soil to slowly drink in the water and absorb as much moisture as possible. It also helps the water penetrate the soil more deeply and reach the roots of your lawn.
#3. Prevent runoff when watering
Run-off is a common issue for dry, compacted soil and can result in water wastage or puddling. It can also be a sign that you’re watering your lawn too heavily, so it’s essential to water your lawn for longer periods on a low setting. This helps the soil absorb water slowly and deeply, preventing your lawn from becoming oversaturated.
If you’re still experiencing runoff across your lawn, apply a wetting agent to help the water penetrate your soil. Another way to prevent water runoff is to aerate your lawn regularly, as this de-compacts the soil and helps it absorb more moisture.
#4. Aerate your lawn regularly to give it plenty of oxygen
Aeration is an essential part of how to keep grass healthy in summer as it prevents soil from becoming compacted. It also helps water reach the deepest parts of your soil and keeps the roots of your lawn wet and thriving. Plus, proper aeration improves nutrient absorption from fertilisers and other lawn foods.
Use a garden fork to poke holes in your lawn at 15 cm intervals. Continue this process until your entire lawn has been aerated. You can also use a rolling lawn aerator to speed up the process for large lawns.
#5. Mow your lawn at a longer height for better protection
Summer is the best growing season for most types of Australian turf, so many gardeners mow more frequently to stop their lawns getting too long. However, frequent mowing can put additional stress on your lawn during summer and create bald patches.
We recommend mowing your lawn less frequently or setting your mower blades to a higher height to keep your grass longer. Long blades of grass also provide excellent insulation for the roots of your lawn, helping your lawn stay cooler and healthier throughout summer.
#6. Stay on top of weeds to avoid diseases
Weeds grow faster and more frequently in spring and summer, so it is important to stay on top of them to stop your lawn from becoming infested. While weed killers are effective, we recommend avoiding pesticides as they can damage the integrity of your soil.
The best way to remove weeds in summer is by pulling them out and removing the roots to stop them from growing back. Check your lawn regularly for weeds and remove them as early as possible.
#7. Avoid watering your lawn with hot water
One of the most common watering mistakes in summer is accidentally watering your lawn with hot water. After watering your lawn, leftover water will remain inside the hose. In summer, the water will heat up and become too hot to spray on your lawn. Spraying your lawn with hot water can cause the roots of your grass to overheat, which can damage the underlying root structure of your lawn.
To avoid this, always empty your hose after watering your lawn. Once you’ve finished watering turn off the tap and spray your hose to get rid of the remaining water.
#8. Choose a heat-friendly turf for a healthy lawn in summer
If you’re starting fresh with your lawn, we recommend choosing a drought-resistant, hardy turf to reduce the amount of summer lawn care required for your grass. Take a look at our favourite heat-friendly turfs for homes, gardens and public areas.
Couch turf is a warm-season grass that thrives in hot conditions and can stand up against high traffic, making it a mainstay of Aussie lawns. This turf features high-drought tolerance and water retention thanks to its deep root system, so it’s ideal for dry, stressful conditions. It also grows quickly, reducing the risk of weeds sprouting across your lawn.
Couch turf is ideal for sunny areas and prefers limited shade to flourish fully. It also becomes dormant and brown in cold winter months, so we recommend it for warmer climates.
Sapphire Soft Leaf Buffalo
As one of Australia’s softest turfs, Sapphire Buffalo turf is built for hot, shady areas and has a deep root system for excellent water absorption. It also stands up against high foot traffic and everyday wear and tear, making it a good fit for children and pets. Sapphire turf can also suppress weeds and generally requires less weed control than other turfs.
Sapphire Buffalo grass produces seed heads, so we don’t recommend it for allergy sufferers.
This summer-friendly turf loves the heat and thrives in hot spring and summer conditions. Kikuyu turf needs around six hours of direct sunlight per day, making it a great fit for exposed areas with limited shade. Commonly used in large settings, Kikuyu is also popular thanks to its tough blades, stellar wear tolerance and fast recovery from damage.
However, Kikuyu turf becomes dormant in the winter months and often stops growing in frosty areas. It also isn’t suited to shady areas and prefers constant sun exposure to really flourish.
Sir Walter Buffalo
This broad-leaf beauty is known for its hardiness and can stand up against harsh Aussie weather all year round. Suitable for heat, strong UV rays and drought conditions, Sir Walter Buffalo turf enjoys sunny or shady areas and has become the quintessential Australian turf for homes, public settings and more.
Because of its versatility, Sir Walter tends to be more expensive than other types of turf as it takes longer to reharvest compared to Kikuyu or Couch turf.
Keep your lawn thriving all summer long with some hardy turf from Oz Landscape Supplies
Get your garden ready for summer with a hardy turf from our range!
At Oz Landscape Supplies, we’re experts when it comes to providing hardy, healthy and beautiful turf for a range of outdoor settings. From backyards to public parks, schools and more, we’ve got the right turf for your next landscaping project. Plus, our friendly team will help you every step of the way to ensure you have the best turf supplies to keep your grass thriving this summer.
Explore our range and keep your lawn thriving all year round with Oz Landscape Supplies.