A Guide to Summer Lawn Care in Virginia BeachBY JILL RAMONE | AUGUST 9TH, 2019 | LAWN CARE, VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA BEACH
A great looking Virginia lawn doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work and adjustments, discovering just the right thing needed for thick, green grass. Each season has its own requirements to keep your yard in tip-top shape and summer’s no different. With a few simple steps and this guide to summer lawn care in Virginia Beach, your lawn will hold up through the heat and humidity.
Start With the Right Grass Seed
A Virginia Beach lawn is hard to maintain if you don’t start with the right type of grass.
Grass has two major types — cool-season grasses, suited to Northern climates, and warm-season grasses, bred to thrive in the Southern heat. The state of Virginia is in the “transition zone” where both can be grown, but each will have challenges. Warm-season grasses will struggle in the winter, while cool-season grasses will wilt in the summer.
However, Virginia Beach’s climate is moderated by the ocean, so it rarely gets bitterly cold. In addition, it has sandy soils. Both those conditions mean warm-season grasses are the better choice, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service.
So, the experts recommend a warm-season grass like Bermuda, Bahia, or Zoysia have strong roots and the ability to tolerate drought. However, the cool-season fescue remains the most-dominant grass type.
Mow Regularly at the Right Height
Regular mowing is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy lawn. Doing it right creates a low-maintenance yard that also resists drought. The correct mowing height depends on the type of grass you plant. Mowing to the proper height makes the turfgrass thicker and promotes deep root growth. It also helps the grass stand up better against weeds and environmental stresses. Also, never cut more than one-third of the top at one time.
Recommended Turfgrass Mowing Heights
Bermudagrass: 1 to 1 1/2 inches
Bahiagrass: 2 to 4 inches
Zoysiagrass: 1 1/2 to 3 inches.
If your lawn is dry, water it or wait for rain before cutting. Mowing parched grass stresses the turf by exposing it to the wind and sun.
Leave Grass Clippings
When you mow regularly, and the grass isn’t too tall, the volume of clippings left behind aren’t enough to warrant raking. Nor should you. Clippings left after mowing act as a fertilizer. They decompose, leaving water and nutrients behind in your yard. Clippings are rich in nitrogen and can reduce both the need for chemical fertilizer and the risk of the chemicals burning the lawn. It’s also better for the environment. There are, however, a few instances where it’s better to bag the clippings. Rake when the grass is wet, or you waited too long between mowings. Pick the clippings up if you need them for your compost pile. And definitely, don’t leave the clippings behind if you have spots of disease in the lawn. Bag them up and throw them away to prevent spreading the disease to other areas of your yard.
Water If Needed
Your lawn will survive a Virginia Beach summer without a lot of watering, except during severe drought conditions. But this guide to summer lawn care in Virginia Beach recommends watering about an inch per week in dry weather. The best time is early morning. Watering during the heat of the day will put stress on the lawn, and much of the water will evaporate. When water is needed, water deeply to encourage deep grass roots.
If you’d like more information about lawn care and landscaping, visit our Virginia Beach lawn care page.
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