Summer Care of Cool Season Grasses

Summer Care of Cool Season GrassesValley Green has one of the most extensive selections of grass seed for sale in the northeast. We have been selling it for over twenty years and have accrued quite a bit of knowledge about summer care of cool season grasses. Temperatures are rising and the spring landscape season is in full swing. Summer will be here sooner than you know it and with it comes the task of keeping cool season grasses healthy. Kentucky Bluegrass, Ryegrass, and Fescue are all considered cool season grasses. These three types of grass seed are our most  popular grass seed blends. Check out our article this week on summer care of cool season grasses.

Summer Care of Cool Season Grasses

When should I fertilize cool season grasses?

Cool season grasses should be fertilized when it comes out of winter dormancy. Lawns that are established should be treated with nitrogen fertilizer. If you use a slow-release fertilizer, it is considered better for the environment and lasts a lot longer than traditional fertilizers. Use a spreader to spread the fertilizer evenly and be sure to follow all of the instructions on the fertilizer bag.

How much water do cool season grasses need in the summer?

Cool season grass needs at least half an inch of water to avoid going dormant. The summer of 2020 was dry and forecasters are predicting similar conditions for 2021. Grass crowns can stay alive with that half-inch of water, however, if dry weather starts to stick around, you’ll need to start irrigation if you don’t want it to go dormant. The best way to water cool season grass is to do it deeply and infrequently. This should be done every three to four days. Try to irrigate with at least a half-inch of water and let the grass dry out between waterings.

How much should I mow cool season grass in the summer?

Cool season grasses should be once to twice a week providing the grass is receiving adequate water. The best mowing height for cool seson is 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Using a sharp blade will decrease the stress on the plants and decrease the chance of fungus damaging the grass in the summer. Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass height. If your grass is too tall, mow it a high setting at first and then lower the blade a few days later.

Preventing fungus growth on cool season grasses

Summer nights tend to be warm and humid. This is a perfect breeding ground for Brown Patch and Summer Patch. To avoid these summer turf diseases, water the grass in the early morning, not the afternoon or evening. Keep your mower blades sharp so the dull blades don’t tear the grass. Torn grass blades provide easy access for fungal spores to enter. You can also apply a fungicide as a preventative when the night time tempuratures are consistently above seventy degrees.

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