Summer Turf Maintenance

Summer Turf Maintenance

Maintaining fresh turf in the summer requires special attention to watering, mowing, fertilizing, and overall lawn care to ensure it remains healthy and vibrant despite the heat. Here are some essential tips for keeping your turf fresh during the summer months:

1. Watering

Early Morning Watering: Water your lawn early in the morning, ideally between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., to reduce evaporation and allow the grass to absorb moisture before the heat of the day.

Deep Watering: Water deeply and infrequently rather than shallow and frequent watering. This encourages deep-root growth. Aim for about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, including rainfall.

Avoid Overwatering: Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Use a rain gauge or a small can to measure the amount of water applied.

2. Mowing

Mow Higher: Set your mower blade higher during the summer. Longer grass blades provide shade to the soil, reducing water evaporation and helping keep the roots cooler. Aim to keep your grass about 3-4 inches tall.

Sharp Blades: Ensure your mower blades are sharp to make clean cuts. Dull blades can tear the grass, making it more susceptible to disease and stress.

Regular Mowing: Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass's height at a time. Mowing too much at once can stress the grass.

3. Fertilizing

Light Fertilizing: Use a slow-release fertilizer formulated for summer use. Avoid heavy fertilizing during the peak heat, as it can burn the grass.

Timing: Apply fertilizer early in the summer or late in the evening to prevent scorching the grass.

4. Pest and Weed Control

Regular Monitoring: Keep an eye out for pests and weeds. Summer is a prime time for insects like grubs and chinch bugs, as well as weeds.

Natural Control Methods: Consider using natural pest control methods and weed control solutions to minimize chemical use.

5. Aeration

Aerate if Needed: If your soil is compacted, consider aerating your lawn in late spring or early summer to improve water penetration and root growth.

6. Avoid Heavy Traffic

Minimize Foot Traffic: Try to minimize heavy foot traffic on your lawn during the hottest parts of the day to prevent soil compaction and grass damage.

7. Shade Management

Manage Shade: If you have trees or structures that provide shade, ensure that shaded areas still receive adequate water, as they may dry out slower than sunny areas but still need moisture.

8. Proper Lawn Care Practices

Raking: Regularly rake your lawn to remove debris, such as leaves and grass clippings, that can block sunlight and air from reaching the grass.

Thatch Management: Remove excess thatch buildup. Thatch is a layer of dead grass and roots that can prevent water from penetrating the soil.

9. Mulching

Grass Clippings: Leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing (mulching) to help retain moisture and provide nutrients.

10. Addressing Stress and Damage

Repair Damaged Areas: Promptly repair any damaged or thin areas by overseeding or patching with sod.

Hydrate Stress: If your lawn starts to show signs of heat stress (e.g., turning brown), increase watering frequency but avoid overwatering.

11. Environmental Considerations

Local Climate: Adjust your lawn care practices based on your local climate and weather conditions.

By following these tips, you can maintain a lush, green turf even during the hottest summer months. Regular care and attention will help your lawn withstand the heat and remain healthy and attractive.

How to Lay Fresh Turf In Your Garden

Although we would suggest hiring a professional to lay your fresh turf for you, if you are a seasoned DIY-er and want to take on a big garden project, then laying turf will serve as a good challenge. Laying fresh turf can transform your garden quickly and create a lush, green lawn. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to lay fresh turf:

Materials Needed:


1. Preparation

Measure the Area: Measure your lawn area to determine how much turf you need. Order slightly more turf than you need to account for cutting and shaping.

Clear the Area: Remove any existing grass, weeds, rocks, and debris from the area where you will be laying the turf. Use a shovel or turf cutter to remove old grass.

Improve Soil Quality: If the soil is poor, add a layer of quality topsoil (about 2-3 inches) and mix it into the existing soil. This provides a better-growing medium for the new turf.

Level the Ground: Use a rake to level the soil. Remove any large clumps and make the surface as smooth as possible. Ensure the ground is slightly sloped away from buildings for drainage.

2. Soil Preparation

Aerate the Soil: Use a garden fork or aerator to aerate the soil, creating small holes for better water and root penetration.

Fertilize: Apply a lawn starter fertilizer to the soil. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct amount.

3. Laying the Turf

Start at the Edges: Begin laying the turf along the longest straight edge, such as a fence or driveway. Unroll the turf and place it gently on the prepared soil. Make sure the edges of the turf rolls are tightly butted together without overlapping.

Stagger the Seams: Lay the next roll of turf, staggering the seams like brickwork. This helps the turf to knit together more effectively.

Cut to Fit: Use a sharp knife or turf cutter to trim the edges of the turf to fit around curves, trees, and other obstacles.

4. Firm Down the Turf

Press Down the Turf: Lightly walk on the newly laid turf or use a lawn roller to press it down. This ensures good contact between the turf roots and the soil.

Avoid Gaps: Check for any gaps between the rolls and push the edges together if necessary.

5. Watering

Immediate Watering: Water the newly laid turf immediately after installation. Soak the turf thoroughly so that the water penetrates the soil below. The first watering should provide at least 1 inch of water.

Regular Watering: Water the turf daily for the first two weeks, especially during hot and dry weather. Ensure the soil remains moist but not waterlogged.

6. Initial Care

Avoid Heavy Use: Keep off the new turf as much as possible for the first few weeks to allow it to establish roots.

Monitor Growth: Check the turf regularly for signs of drying out, lifting, or gaps.

7. First Mowing

Wait to Mow: Wait until the turf has rooted well (usually after 2-3 weeks) before the first mowing.

Mow High: Set your mower to a high setting and cut only the top third of the grass blades. Gradually lower the mowing height over subsequent mowings.

8. Ongoing Maintenance

Fertilize: After about six weeks, apply a balanced lawn fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.

Weed Control: Keep an eye out for weeds and remove them promptly.


Lay Turf on the Same Day: Lay the turf on the same day it is delivered to prevent it from drying out and deteriorating.

Overlap and Trim: Slightly overlap the turf edges when cutting to fit irregular shapes, then trim the excess.

Water Early: Water the turf early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your fresh turf establishes well and creates a beautiful, lush lawn. Regular care and maintenance will help your new lawn thrive.