A healthy green lawn

Beating the Heat: How to Keep Your Toronto Lawn Green and Healthy in Summer

Summer is finally here, and you’re probably wondering, “How do I keep my grass green in the hot summer?” Find the answer and more in this article.

How to Maintain a Lawn in the Summer Heat

How Heat Affects Your Lawn

Summer in Toronto is expected to be warmer than normal this year, and your lawn will likely feel the pain. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage and keep your turfgrass green and healthy this season.

But before we discuss how to help your Toronto lawn beat the heat, let’s understand how high temperatures affect grass. Remember that grass is a living plant with needs like water, food, and oxygen. Like all living things, grasses also have an optimal temperature range for health and growth. This range is between 15 to 35 degrees Celsius, depending on the variety. When the temperature rises or falls above the optimal range, the turf will struggle.

High temperatures, humidity, and insufficient moisture can cause grass heat stress. Grass under prolonged heat stress will eventually look lifeless, brown, and brittle. It can also become more susceptible to diseases, weeds, and pest infestation, resulting in grass thinning and weakening.

Five Ways to Help Your Lawn Beat the Summer Heat

In a hot and dry summer, the health and appearance of your lawn can change drastically. You’ll need to be diligent with lawn care and make extra effort if you want your lawn to stay healthy and green. Here are a few things you can do:

Know Your Lawn

Turf grasses come in two types: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. Cool-season grasses include Kentucky bluegrass, fine and tall fescue, and perennial rye. These grass varieties thrive in fall and winter and enter dormancy in summer when the weather is too hot.

Dormant grasses will appear beige and dead. But don’t worry; they can survive several weeks of dry periods and will green up within a week of the return of rain. Still, you must protect the grass by avoiding foot traffic until it recovers.

Warm-season grasses, like Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia, are well adapted to hot, dry weather and go dormant when the temperature drops. If you have this type of grass, keeping your lawn healthy and green in summer won’t be much of a challenge.

Water Thoughtfully

Watering is a critical part of summer lawn care in Toronto.

However, you don’t need to water your lawn excessively in summer to keep it green and healthy. You just need to get the timing and frequency right. Some water their lawn in the evening, but this often encourages disease development. It’s best to stick with the most optimal watering time of the day, which is early morning. The water won’t evaporate quickly and will have enough time to reach the roots. And no, you don’t have to do it every day.

Water deeply once a week for four hours in each zone instead of giving your lawn a sip daily. Do this from May 1st to September 1st. This schedule will not only ensure your lawn stays hydrated, but it will also help you save water and money. Considering that water is a limited resource, you’re doing society and the environment a favor by watering thoughtfully.

Consider investing in sprinkler systems if you don’t have them yet. Sprinkler systems differ widely in output depending on the make and model, sprinkle head, and water pressure. But no matter what you choose, the system will make watering easier. Some let you establish a designated schedule for automatically watering your lawn, which can be useful when you’re busy or have to be away from home for a while.

A professionally installed sprinkler can provide the best possible coverage, minimize water waste, and ultimately help your lawn grow healthy and green.

Don’t Mow Too Much

Grasses still grow in summer, albeit slowly. You must continue mowing once a week from May 1st until the grass stops growing in the fall. However, it is important not to mow too low. Set your mower to cut at three inches tall and no shorter. Otherwise, your lawn will likely suffer.

Mowing too short will weaken the grass and expose the soil to sunlight. As a result, moisture will evaporate quickly, and the grass can easily get dehydrated. Cutting the grass at the right height will minimize stress and make it less vulnerable to dehydration.

In addition, you should ensure your mower blades are sharp. Sharp blades cut grass cleanly, making your lawn look neat and manicured. On the other hand, dull blades tend to tear the grass. The tearing action stresses the grass and leaves it more susceptible to diseases and pests.

Protect High-Traffic Areas

Summer is the perfect season to throw an outdoor barbecue party with friends and family or just have fun in the backyard. Unfortunately, those activities can damage your lawn. Constant heavy traffic on lawns can lead to thinning grass, increased soil compaction, and bare patches.

You may protect the high-traffic areas in your lawn by installing a path using stepping stones, pavers, and other materials. But if that’s not possible, consider installing grass mats. Grass mats are specially designed to protect lawns from being churned up and the underlying soil from being compacted. They have circular holes that allow grass to grow despite heavy traffic.

Don’t Give Cool-Season Grasses a Nutritional Boost

When your cool-season grass is turning brown and struggling, your instinct may be to apply fertilizer. However, note that cool-season grasses tend to look dead because they enter dormancy in summer. Therefore, giving it a nutritional boost will do more harm than good. Fertilizing warm-season grasses during hot, dry spells is not ideal either because they are likely under drought and heat stress.

However, since warm-season grass growth tends to peak in summer, fertilizer application remains a critical part of lawn care. Getting the timing right is the key to ensuring the lawn will benefit from the fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer when the weather becomes cooler, which typically happens in early and late summer. The soil should be moist and loose so the fertilizer can easily reach the roots.

Another crucial thing to remember is to ensure even application of the fertilizer for a uniformly green lawn. Consider using a drop-type spreader instead of spreading the fertilizer manually.

Looking Ahead

If your lawn has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse, do not panic. You can still restore its beauty through reseeding. This can also be a good opportunity to plant a drought-resistant grass variety so your lawn stays green and healthy despite harsh summer weather. Still, wait for the temperature to drop before planting seeds.

Get Some Help

You probably enjoy taking care of your yard. After all, there’s often a deep sense of satisfaction and pride at a job well done and a green, beautiful lawn sweeping in front of you. But some things are just better left to the professionals.

Find an experienced expert in lawn care in Toronto because these pros know how to keep your lawn green and healthy in summer and the rest of the year. Seasoned lawn care professionals will prepare your lawn even before the hot season starts so that the turf grasses are strong enough to withstand the weather extremes that are sure to come.

Find Out How LawnMart Can Help

If you’re looking for lawn care services in Toronto, consider LawnMart. We specialize in organic lawn care. When you entrust your lawn to our team, we’ll ensure it stays healthy, no matter the season.

Contact us for a free quote, and let us discuss what we can do for your lawn.