Lawn care for summer is important everywhere, but if you live in Phoenix, AZ it can be an especially important consideration. Summers in Phoenix are scorching hot, and if you’re not careful you could find yourself waking up to a dead, brown lawn before long.
There are a few different aspects of lawn care in summer that you’ll want to study up on to prevent this from happening. So, in order to get you fully prepared for Phoenix lawn care during the upcoming summer, let’s go in-depth on everything you need to know to keep your lawn looking fresh and green in the blistering Arizona heat with the right summer lawn care schedule.
What Type of Grass Should You Have in Phoenix, AZ?
Depending on the region you live in, your lawn will be best suited with either warm-season grass, cool-season grass, or a combination of the two.
Because Phoenix is so far south, warm-season grass is the best choice for lawns here.
Read More: The Definitive Guide to St. Augustine Grass
Early Summer Lawn Care in Phoenix
During the early part of summer, mowing and watering will be your primary focus. Mowing is best done in either the early morning or the late afternoon. This is because mowing during peak heat from 11:00am to 3:00pm will cause undue stress on your grass. You should mow your lawn anywhere from 2-4 times per month, and never cut more than 1/3 the height of your lawn off. Doing so can cause it to dry out faster.
The proper mowing height for your lawn during the summer will depend on what kind of grass you have. Bermuda grass, which is the most popular, will thrive between 3/8 of an inch and 1.5 inches tall.
Read More: The Definitive Guide to Bermuda Grass
Avoid walking the same exact mowing path every time, as this can compact the soil and cause ruts. When done mowing, you should leave the clippings behind on the lawn. They will quickly decompose and provide precious natural fertilizer for your lawn.
Watering is obviously going to be one of the main considerations for your Phoenix lawn during the summer. More is not always merrier, however. Especially in a city known for epic droughts, you’ll really have to be careful with when and how much you water your lawn.
To maximize efficiency you should try to water your lawn when evaporation and wind speeds are minimized. This is usually in the morning or at nighttime. Watering at night can be risky because the sun isn’t there to soak up any extra water, so you need to keep a close eye on how much you’re giving your lawn if you water at night.
Your lawn will need about an inch per week. To keep your lawn looking green all summer you want deep roots. You can train your roots to grow deep by watering infrequently and deeply. As a rule, you should aim for a trickling depth of 10 inches. Use a screwdriver or something similar to test the depth of the trickle after you water.
There are no current watering restrictions in Phoenix, but in a city starved for water, this could change at any moment. Using conservative irrigation systems like sprinklers and drip irrigation are a good way to save time and energy while not wasting water.
Mid-Summer Lawn Care in Phoenix
Once you get these basic summer lawn care tips down, caring for your lawn in Phoenix during mid-summer is all about remaining consistent. Stick to the 2-4 times per month rule when it comes to mowing, and remember to give your lawn at least an inch of water per week.
If you want to put any native plants in your yard, go for species which don’t need a lot of water. Cacti, native wildflowers, and succulents are all excellent choices here. If any of your plants cast shade, remember to give a little bit less water to the grass in those areas, as they won’t be exposed to as much direct sunlight.
Late/End of Summer Lawn Care Tips for Phoenix
As summer winds down, you’ll need to adjust your lawn care strategy. If your lawn has experienced heavy foot traffic and compaction as a result, aeration may be in your future. Aeration is done by a machine with hollow metal tines or tubes that remove any soil plugs from your lawn. This allows your lawn to breathe again. Avoid using any devices with spikes that just punch holes in your lawn.
When aeration is complete, use a rake to break up the soil plugs before adding fertilizer back in to help promote recovery.
Aside from mid to late spring, late summer is one of the best times to fertilize your lawn. Use anywhere from 1 to 2 pounds of (actual) nitrogen in every 1,000 sq ft area. Never fertilize during peak summer, as this can burn your lawn. It could also give birth to a flush of tender new growth that will struggle to survive in the heat.
Late summer lawn care also involves the maintenance of your lawn mower. You’ll want to make sure it’s ready for the next time you need to use it consistently. Clean out any clumped up grass clippings from the underside and use a blade sharpener kit from your local hardware store to keep the blades sharp and balanced.
Dull and unbalanced blades can turn a beautiful lawn into an ugly one after a single mow. Make sure the oil is changed and the mower is stored in a place where it won’t accrue rust or other types of damage.
Still have questions about lawn care? Please visit our Phoenix lawn care services page for more information.
Top Photo: Zillow.com