• Mow lawns lightly and frequently, producing short clippings that are best left on the lawn during hot weather to act as a moisture-retentive mulch. Any excess plant debris (thatch) can be scarified out during autumn maintenance.  Mulching mowers cut the clippings even more finely than normal rotary blades, making the mulch less visible.
  • Raise the mower’s cutting height slightly, especially in hot weather. This can help the grass cope better, particularly as growth starts to slow later in the month.  
  • Keep mowing pathways through areas of long grass to allow easy access around your garden.
  • Resist the temptation to water established lawns, even in dry spells – grass should cope well with drought and although it may die   back, it will soon recover once rain returns. See our advice on caring for lawns during drought.  Only new lawns (see below) really need watering.

  • Remove any unwanted weeds using a trowel or grubbing tool, but bear in mind that many wildflowers and flowering weeds can attract wildlife and add valuable colour to gardens. 

  • Cut spring- and early summer-flowering meadows if the plants have shed their seeds – see our guide to meadow maintenance.

  • See our guide to spring/summer lawn care.

New lawns

  • Water areas that were newly sown or turfed in spring every few days  unless it rains, to keep them going through their first summer. Use collected rainwater or grey water if possible. If resorting to a sprinkler, only water for the minimum time needed to wet the roots sufficiently but not excessively – judge this by placing an open jam-jar on the lawn and run the sprinkler until 13mm (½in) of water has collected inside. 
  • Cut new lawns every week or so,   as required, progressively lowering the height of the blades until they’re back at the normal level. But in hot weather, keep the blades high or stop mowing for a while.
  • Use your new lawn as little as possible until autumn.


  • Browning of lawns is common in hot, dry summers and nothing to worry about (except on new lawns – see above). Avoid wasting water on established lawns if possible, as they will soon green up again once it rains. However, if you want to keep a small lawn green, use collected rainwater or grey water (washing-up water or bath water). Good autumn lawn care (scarifying and aerating) should help to reduce browning in subsequent summers. Also see our lawns in drought advice.

  • Smaller brown patches can have many causes, including dog urine, petrol or oil from a mower, weedkiller and fertiliser overdosing – see our guide to remedying dead patches in lawns.

  • Yellowing grass that contains small pinkish-red strands may be caused by red thread. This fungal disease is common on light soil in wet summers, when nitrogen can be washed away. A nitrogen-rich fertiliser should remedy the problem, but take care to use fertilisers sparingly to minimise environmental impact.
  • Ant nests can hinder mowing. Try to live with them if possible, as ants help to support garden biodiversity. But if necessary, before you start mowing, brush away the soil mounds above nests on a dry day.
  • See all our lawn care advice.

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Advice from the RHS

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.