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How to Care for Your Lawn in the AL Heat

Updated: May 15

It’s hot outside if you haven’t noticed yet! This time of year, we tend to see more scattered storms and fewer predictable days of rain. You may have a 20-minute downpour one day, then no rain for several days. Your yard- grass and plants- can easily begin to suffer in this type of excessive heat with no refreshing rain. Obviously, they need water, but what’s the best way to keep your lawn and landscape thriving until the next thundershower brings much-needed rain?  Flowers and Plants One of the most important steps to watering anything in your yard is to water it very early in the morning (or in the evening if you forget). Watering midday is less effective because the sun can dry out the rain on the surface of your soil. Flower beds, young bushes, and other delicate vegetation need special attention during the dog days of summer. Water them frequently, even daily, using the “shower” setting on your garden hose attachment or watering cans. Research how much water your specific plants need so you don’t over water them- plants in the palm family will need less watering than the perennials you planted earlier this year. Watering cans are a great way to control and gauge just how much water they get on days without rain.  Grass (w/out irrigation system) If you don’t have an irrigation system or sprinkler system, you’ll need to set out the sprinkler that attaches to your water/garden hose. Depending on how much ground the sprinkler covers and how big your yard is, you may have to move it around a few times or water the front yard in morning and backyard at night. This does not need to be done daily. Water deeply but infrequently. How much water does your yard need? You can use a screwdriver, stick, or other pointed object to test- if it doesn’t easily go into the soil, you may need more water and if it slides in too easily, you’ll need to water it less often. Grass and Landscaping (w/ irrigation system) Irrigation or sprinkler systems can be one of the most helpful ways to keep your yard looking pristine no matter the weather. Timers ensure that your yard gets watered at the optimal time and amount. Placement in your yard will provide more water to the areas that need it the most. Irrigation systems are especially great for large flower beds and other landscaping, since misting sprinkler heads deliver water straight to the soil and into the roots of your plants. This is the simplest and most convenient way to keep your yard watered.  If your system seems to not be working properly this summer, check out our sprinkler system blog about potential problems to look for, then give us a call.  Other tips: 

  1. Cut your grass higher. The higher grass will help protect the root system from direct sunlight and will even reduce evaporation which will allow your soil to absorb more moisture. A good rule of thumb is to set your lawn mower deck to around 3 inches. 

  2. Keep your mower blades sharp. Dulled blades tend to crush and harm your already delicate grass. Sharp blades will make sure you don’t do damage, which will help the grass survive the heat. 

  3. Don’t over fertilize. It can burn the grass if your yard is brown from excessive heat and lack of rain or watering. If you need an irrigation system for your yard, landscaping, or both, we’re ready to help you with any irrigation questions you may have. Since we are your go-to for almost all landscape services in Birmingham, AL, we can recommend and install various irrigation systems. The design and type will depend on your property’s needs, budget, and preferences. Contact us! We’ll make sure next summer is easier to navigate- you won’t have to worry about how often or how long your grass is getting watered and won’t have to think twice about it while on vacation! But if you’re thinking, “hey that’s great, but my yard and landscape need help right now”, we can step in and either assist with the situation or help create an entirely new landscape design that best suits your needs. We want you to be able to enjoy your yard year-round. 

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