Paris and Henry County's Oldest Landscape Design/Build & Maintenance Company
July is the month I get into full swing in smoking shoulders, ribs, butts and grilling. Hopefully, you have gotten all of the chores and tasks completed in the lawn and landscape earlier in the year so now you can have a BBQ and enjoy your hard work on the lawn and landscape so far this year. There are a few things you might want to do to protect your lawn during the hot weather.
First start cutting the grass a little taller during the hot weather if you have Fescue, Bluegrass, or Ryegrass. These cool season grasses will fight the effects of heat and drought better if cut no lower than 3" during July and August. Cutting lower will just put too much stress on the grass during hot weather. Be sure to water deeply and as infrequently as you can to put down a minimum of 1" per week. It might take 3 waterings per week, or you might get it down with one watering. Grass type, soil type, terrain, the lay of your lawn, etc., all have a part in how you need to water.
For shrubs and trees, don't do any pruning during the hot months if you can keep from it. In the Fall you can cut a lot of excess growth off, with no harm. During July if you cut the same amount off you would in Jan, you may kill the plant, shrub or tree. Just wait until fall to shape up your shrubs and trees.
If you have Bermuda grass, you can seed it now if you have large bare spots that need filling in. Small bare spots will quickly fill in with proper fertilizing, watering, mowing and other cultural practices that you should be doing anyway.
Fescue and other cool season grasses can not be seeded now with good results. The grass will come up but just die from the heat and lack of water. Fescue and other cool season grasses need to be seeded in Fall for best results.
Fertilizer and weed control applications can still be applied during the Summer, but just be careful to not put too much fertilizer on the lawn, as it will burn the grass. When making fertilizer and weed control applications in the hot weather, be sure and water the application in. This will help prevent the burning from happening.
The use of slow-release fertilizers will help a great deal also to eliminate fertilizer burn. If you are going to put a weed control product down during this weather, use the lower side of the suggested amount to apply. All chemical labels will have a range of acceptable application amounts, use the lesser amount suggested. Some chemicals will also suggest not applying at all above a certain temperature. Usually around 85 to 90 degrees.
2 4-D type products can volatilize and harm trees and shrubs if you spray these types chemicals under trees or near some shrubs. The chemical turns into a vapor and drifts off target, it can kill plants when this happens. Read the label to be sure you're making proper applications.