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Summer Lawn Care Tips for Your Region

Keep your lawn lush and green all year by giving it the best care possible during hot summer weather. Here's what to do, depending on where you live.

Summer Lawn Care for the South

Warm-weather grasses in Southern lawns love the heat — up to a point. Hot weather can stress grass, causing it to go dormant. Warm, humid weather encourages fungal and bacterial disease growth, which can be difficult to control. To keep your lawn healthy, follow these summer care tips.

  • Water the lawn. Warm-weather grass lawns need 1 to 2 in. of water per week, and will grow longer, deeper root systems if watered twice in a week to receive this amount, as opposed to daily. Longer roots will make the grass more drought tolerant.
  • Let the lawn go dormant. During extremely hot and dry weather (temperatures over 85 degrees, with no rain for three weeks or more), consider letting the lawn go dormant. To let it go dormant without allowing it to die, cut back on watering — but do not stop watering. Give the lawn only half the usual water.
  • Feed the lawn. If you grow Bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass or centipedegrass, feed your lawn with ½ lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. in June.
  • Set the mower blade high. When the grass is growing rapidly, you will need to mow once or twice a week. You should never remove more than one-third of the grass blade at one time, so plan your mowing schedule accordingly. You should also set your blade on the highest setting for the grass type. Zoysia should be mowed to a height of 2 to 3 in. Bermudagrass is happiest at 1 to 2 in.

Summer Lawn Care for the Midwest and Northeast

Cool-season grasses in the Midwest and Northeast can be stressed by summer heat. They're happier when temperatures are below 80 degrees. Here's how to care for your summer lawn in these regions.

  • Set the mower blade at 3 in. high. This will encourage the grass to grow a deep root system. (A grass plant will grow roots that are in proportion to its aboveground blades.)
  • Control weeds. The time to stay on top of the weed situation is before they flower and set seeds. Mowing frequently will prevent weeds from flowering. You can spot-spray dandelions and other broadleaf weeds with glyphosate. Do not use broadleaf weedkillers on the entire lawn if the temperature is above 85 degrees.
  • Water the lawn if your area is behind in rainfall (watch the news to find out if this is the case). Cool-weather grasses need 1 to 2 in. of water per week.

Summer Lawn Care for the Mid-Atlantic

Mid-Atlantic lawn care depends on the grass type. If your lawn has warm-weather grasses like Bermudagrass, zoysia or centipede, follow the directions for Southern lawn care. If your lawn is planted with Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass or fescue, follow the instructions for the Midwest and Northeast.

If you follow these practices, your lawn will not only survive the summer, but thrive as well.


  • Seed
  • Hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Control weeds
  • Grass Seed