Maintaining an enviable yard come high summer can feel less like a chore and more like an impossibility. These tips will ensure that the grass really is greener on your side of the fence.
Get turf so tender, it looks like it came from a store.
| Credit: Marion Brenner

Know how to mow. The best time to cut your grass is in the evening, before the dew settles. Wet grass from the morning dew clogs up the blades, and midday heat can rob turf of moisture. The forecast matters too: "If no rain is predicted for the next few days, it's best not to cut your lawn. Mowing in the heat of the summer stresses the grass," says Paul Tukey, founder of and author of "The Organic Lawn Care Manual." Keep your mower blades set at least 3 inches high for all lawn grass species except Bermuda, seashore paspalum, and bent grass.


Join forces with nature. Water deeply just once a week. This method trains the roots to grow downward toward the moisture rather than rise to the surface. Resist the urge to fertilize during droughts or heat waves, which will encourage lush new growth that's extra-vulnerable to hot spells. And don't panic if your lawn takes a sudden turn -- it's normal for cool-season turfgrasses to go dormant and turn brown to make it through droughts. The plant will resume growth once the cooler weather returns.

Plant ahead. Disaster can strike despite the best-laid turfgrass, but using a blend of grass and clover will help your lawn stay green. Clover supports healthy soil by taking nitrogen from the atmosphere and fixing it into the ground, making it an exceptional all-natural fertilizer.

How do you care for your yard come summer?

Comments (3)

Martha Stewart Member
September 1, 2014
Thanks Abbeynormal! I live in California too and get frustrated when tips for a green lawn don't apply at all to me! Currently, my area restrictions only allow for watering 3x a week for 8 green grass here... Anywho, just wondering if anyone has tried sprinkling Epsom Salts on their lawns. I've heard the magnesium encourages green to hear anybody's results. Thanks!
Martha Stewart Member
August 30, 2014
Here in CA it's steady 95 degrees even in a non drought year we can't go a day without watering our lawns. Once a week is not an option once the lawn burns there really is no way to turn it around, Bermuda grass, crab grass and all their nasty friends take over. We have green grass year round even through the winter so Bermuda is a bad option here. Please keep in mind when giving lawn care advice that you are only catering to those who have rainy summers with 75-85 degree days, don't forget us
Martha Stewart Member
August 25, 2014
August 25 temps were in 40s and moisture was more than adequate this year. Mild temps in all areas in 2014 and grass deserved it!!