Cranky Man’s Lawn Epistles ’12: Losing the battle, winning the war

Once again the result of another Battlefield Summer Lawn was both predictable and unavoidable, if you are one of the common folk who struggle to maintain a healthy, vibrant lawn without the benefit of an in-ground irrigation system.

Honey, did you let the dog out?!?

In the last week you lost.  You lost BIG!  Your lawn looks like a short-cropped version of Africa’s Serengeti Plain during the dry season, missing the lions and lionesses lounging about your tinder-dry prairie, waiting for Fido to venture off the front porch.

But if you have been paying attention, you realize you may have lost Battle Summer, yet you could still win The Lawn War!

Question is, did you follow the Cranky Man Rules for Summer Lawn Survival?

  • Follow a regular fertilizing schedule to set your lawn up for success?
  • Cut the grass at higher mower setting once it gets hot?
  • Water your lawn whenever practical in cooler temps and every other day – as a minimum – once it got HOT?  (Yes, even when the grass turns brown.)
  • Refrain from fertilizing and lawn treatments when it’s hot and dry?  (e.g. Did you really need that anti-grub treatment?)

    Hippocrates preaching lawn care, circa 400 B.C.

In the words of Hippocrates … “Do no harm!  And make sure you water regularly!”  (Few appreciate Hippocrates’ legendary reputation for lawn care!)

Yes, watering your lawn even when it’s hot, brown, dry, and as hard as your driveway can make a difference!

The long-term health of your lawn lies in its root system.  Even when the grass looks dead, it’s really just dormant.  Dormant on top, but the roots still function and they NEED water to stay healthy and strong!

This is best demonstrated after a few days of cool, wet weather.  If your lawn is healthy, you should see immediate improvement in greenness and growth.  It will not come back completely green very quickly; but you should definitely notice a difference!

So even if your lawn looks like straw and smells like straw when you water it, you are helping your lawn survive another long, hot summer and setting the stage for a quick, easy lawn recovery once the dog days of summer are over.

Replica of Hippocrates Garden and Lawn Center on the island of Kos, Greece.

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