It’s summertime here in Birmingham, AL, which means your front and back yard are sure to be getting plenty of use! From barbeques to slip ‘n slides, summer is a great time to enjoy your outdoor living space. In regards to the weather, summertime signifies one thing in the South: unpredictability. Rain is a crucial ingredient for your lawn but what about its counterpart—sunlight? We will discuss how to measure sunlight, the importance of sunlight and the best practices for keeping your lawn looking fresh during the long hot summer days!

1. Find out what kind of grass you have

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While sunlight is a crucial ingredient for grass of any kind, too much or too little can cause harm to your lawn. It is necessary to understand how much sunlight is needed for your particular type of grass. Below are some common grass types and the amount of daily recommended sunlight for optimal growth:

  • Emerald and Z-52 Zoysia: 5-6 hours
  • Tiftuf/TifGrand Bermuda: 4-6hrs
  • Tifway Bermuda: 6-8 hrs
  • Fescue: 2-4 hours

Grasses such as Bermuda are generally more geared to climates like the South, as they thrive in long hours of sunlight. Understanding the ecosystem in your own backyard is an important step to ensuring you select the grass type best suited for you.

 

2. Estimate how much sun your lawn is receiving

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In order to accurately estimate the amount of sun that your lawn is receiving, it is necessary to understand some common terms that describe sun exposure. Be sure to take into account the amount of sun your lawn gets when considering how to properly care for your lawn during the summertime.

  • Full sun: area of your lawn that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight
  • Partial Sun: area of your lawn that gets about 3 hours of sunlight
  • Shade: area of your lawn that gets less than 3 hours of sunlight

A quick, yet effect way to keep tabs on sun exposure in your backyard is to take note of where the sun starts in the in the morning. Throughout the day monitor which parts of your lawn are receiving sun exposure and and when.

 

3. Tailor your lawn care to the amount of sun it gets

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Sunny Lawns

If your lawn is getting more than the recommended 4-6 hours of daily sunlight, here are a couple little tricks you can do to keep it looking fresh:

1. Mowing your lawn during the summer
The exposure your lawn has to the sun’s rays during the summer time is an important factor to consider when you head out to mow the lawn. To ensure a clean cut, keep your blade high and sharp. Blades that are low to the ground cut the grass too close to the roots where most of the moisture is held! Unless there is a drought, mow often, as a consistent mowing schedule encourages growth.

2. Watering
Knowing when to water your grass during the summer can be a daunting task. Watering too much can lead to burning your yard, while too little can cause it to die. The general rule of thumb is to water infrequently and deeply. The deeper the water penetrates the soil, the healthier your grass will be. Additionally, morning time is the best time to water, specifically from the hours of 6am-10am. This ensures that the most amount of water will be soaked up by the roots instead of evaporating.

3. Pick up after your pet
The innocent family dog can cause a lot of damage to your lawn during the summer months. As cute as your dog is, urination can cause brown spots in your lawn. To tackle this issue, flush these areas with water to dilute the urine as quickly as possible. You can also train your dog to do their business in an area other than the lawn.

Shady Lawns

Shady spots in your lawn are often inevitable. Luckily, growing grass in those spots is not impossible. Check out a couple tips for keeping your grass lush in those pesky spots of shade.

1. Monitor trees and bushes
Trees and bushes are critical parts for filling out your lawn. One way to lessen the amount of shade they cast over your yard is to trim back some of the lower limbs and branches. This is a quick and easy way to allow more sunlight to reach those pesky shady spots of your yard.

2. Watering
Much like watering your grass in the sunny areas of your lawn, watering in the shade requires a little attention. Be sure not to over water this area as dampness can causes diseases and hamper your grass’ ability to grow.

3. Choose the correct seed
After evaluating the amount of shade your lawn receives, the next crucial step is to get the right type of seed. There are plenty of seed choices out that are are geared toward lawns with limited sunlight. Doing a little extra research on your seed choice will save a lot of headache down the road.

4. Know when to call a lawn care professional
DSLD is a full service landscaping company with a team of seasoned professional ready to help you get the most out of the lawn. Our team is highly experienced in dealing with lawn care issues in the summer and all seasons of the year. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have! DSLD is here to meet all your lawn care and landscaping needs.