7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks

Keeping your lawn thick and green all summer means completing essential lawn care tasks beyond mowing and watering. Even if your yard looks good, it doesn’t mean you can neglect it or that the grass doesn’t need any attention.

The following seven essential summer lawn care tasks are crucial for maintaining a yard worthy of backyard barbecues and social get-togethers.

Mow Your Grass a Bit Higher

During the heat of summer, keep your grass a little taller, and only remove ⅓ of the height every time you mow. Taller grass shades the soil, improving moisture retention, and promotes a deeper root system, making it more drought-tolerant.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks
Water Deeply but Less Often

On average, your grass needs 1 to 1.5” of water every week. To build a robust, deep root system, space out waterings as far as possible, applying larger amounts less frequently. The exact amount of water and the timing depends on your soil type and climate.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks
Treat for Lawn Grubs

When left untreated, grubs can cause severe damage to your grass, creating irregular dead patches across the lawn as they feed on the roots just below the soil surface.

To prevent grub activity, apply a grub preventer containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, or clothianidin in early summer. Preventers work on eggs and young larvae, so they need to be applied just before or when the eggs hatch.

If you know you have grubs already, you can apply grub killer at any time. These products contain active ingredients that kill grubs in all life stages.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks
Get Rid of Pesky Weeds

Even if you applied a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring, you might still see weeds pop up in the grass. It’s best to control them quickly so they don’t spread and worsen the problem.

Apply a post-emergent herbicide formulated to kill only the weeds and not the grass. This type of product typically targets broadleaf and non-grassy weeds, killing them down to the root.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks

You can also pull weeds by hand. Use a flathead screwdriver or a weed tool to remove all the plant, including the roots.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks
Keep the Mower Blades Sharp

Regularly sharpen your lawnmower blades, keeping them free of gouges or nicks. Dull or chipped blades don’t shear the grass blades cleanly and tear the tops off instead. Tearing causes undue stress inside the blades, allowing water to evaporate quicker through the torn edge.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks
Practice Grasscycling

Grasscycling is when you leave short grass clippings behind when you mow instead of bagging them up and disposing of them. First off, leaving them on the lawn saves time and labor, but it is also beneficial for the grass.

Grass clippings contain about 4% nitrogen and 2% potassium. When mulched, they decompose rapidly, returning these essential nutrients to the soil, improving root growth, and keeping the grass thick.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks
Feed Warm-Season Grasses

If you have warm-season grass, it needs a dose of fertilizer in the summer because it puts on the most growth when it’s hot. Opt for a slow-release fertilizer that works over one to three months to minimize the risk of fertilizer burn. You should also choose a low-nitrogen formulation to reduce stress on the lawn.

7 Essential Summer Lawn Care Tasks

Keeping your lawn looking good through the summer doesn’t need to be a full-time job, but some tasks are essential—mow the grass a bit higher, keep it free of weeds and pests, and provide water and small doses of nutrients.