There’s always a bit of challenge to keep the lawn green and healthy during longer periods of hot weather.
Thankfully, there are some simple techniques which you can use for mowing in hot weather that will not only keep your lawn vibrant and emerald green, but which also can help to ensure that you don’t end up spending a week inside from a heat stroke.
In this article we will take a closer look on how to mow your lawn in hot weather so that you’ll have these tips and tricks at your disposal. While it won’t make mowing any less of a chore, these strategies will definitely have an impact. Let’s take a look at what you need to know before you mow!
Best time of day to mow the lawn in hot weather
You might think that mid-morning is the best time to mow the lawn, but this is actually not always true. While this approach is fine in normal weather, it’s actually better to wait until sundown when it’s hot outside.
One of the advantages of mowing in the evening is that the moisture in the grass leaves is inside of the roots. Compared to the dew that you have to deal with if you mow in the early morning.
The next advantage to mow the lawn in the evening is that your grass is going to have more time to heal. Without the sun beating down on it, your grass have the the night to recover, which makes it more resistant to the heat the next day.
How often should you mow the lawn during a heat wave?
It recommended to mow your lawn at least twice a week during a heat wave. Just make sure that you don’t cut the grass too short because that might prevent the grass from growing.
This is because the shade produced by the longer blades helps to trap extra moisture. It shades the soil, which in turn helps to keep it moist longer and the roots are less vulnerable to heat. That said, there is a caveat – the extended hours of daylight make your lawn grow faster. Just make sure you don’t mow your lawn during a drought, that can result in damaging your lawn.
What height should you mow your lawn in hot weather?
The ideal height of the grass in hot weather is between 3 to 4 inches. This not only shades the soil nicely, but it will encourage deeper root growth and more water will be retained.
Also, consider sharpening your mower blades if you haven’t recently. Cleaner cuts can make a lot difference, as dull blades tend to simply tear or shred the grass and you’ll lose a lot of moisture that way!
When is it too hot to mow the lawn?
Anytime the temperature goes above 80 degrees Fahrenheit/26 degrees Celcius then it’s best to stay indoors and wait until sundown if the lawn needs to be mowed. These are the temperatures when heat stroke becomes a possibility and while 80 degrees sounds mild, the temperature can quickly go up and you’ll be too hard at work to notice.
So, during the heat waves, keep your mowing limited to sundown or cooler days after a nice rain, and that way you can protect your health while your keeping your lawn nice and tidy!
Can hot weather damage my lawn mower?
No, the hot weather won’t damage your mower, but it might damage your lawn. Heat tracking damage might occur in hot weather when the turf is near wilting point. At that point the grass is under stress and has a hard time recovering from the damage from the lawn mower. That can result in brown spots in the lawn, often referred as heat tracking damage. This is easy to avoid by only mowing during sensible outside temperatures or after a nice rain.
How to keep your grass green during hot weather
Making sure that your lawn doesn’t turn bad during a heat wave doesn’t have to be complicated. Let’s take a look at some proven methods for ensuring that the grass stays green the whole summer.
- Maintain your mower – You want to make sure that the oil is changed, the spark plugs are fresh, and most importantly, that your blades have been sharpened. Local hardware stores can sharpen your blades and clean cuts will help your grass to easily recover after you mow.
- Fertilize the lawn – Every 6 weeks you will want to fertilize the lawn, just be sure to do it out of the heat – fertilizing when it’s hot can actually damage your soil!
- High cuts are the best cuts – Cutting the grass to a height of 3 to 4 inches is optimal. The longer grass blades will shade the soil and help your lawn to retain vital moisture to better withstand the heat and to set deep roots.
- Water early, mow late – Watering the lawn at approximately 5am is the best way to ensure the least amount of loss. It gives your grass enough time to absorb what it needs to be ready for a hot day and enough time to dry out safely so that you can avoid potential fungal growth.
As you can see, it’s all about strategizing so that you can beat the heat and keep your lawn green all summer. By mowing at sundown, your grass will have more time to heal, and higher cuts allow the grass to protect itself naturally. Beyond that, mow twice a week if you need it, and avoid mowing the lawn in extreme heat.
Eric West is the founder of improvethelawn.com and has been blogging since 2009. His mission is to make lawn care and landscaping easy for everyone.