Dog Days of Summer
Anyone else fascinated by the origins of common expressions? For example, I love the phrase “dog days of summer.” I’ve heard old timers use that phrase to describe the hottest part of summer (July 3 – August 11). But why? Resources like the Farmer’s Almanac say the phrase originates from the sun residing within the Canis Major (“Greater Dog”) constellation.
But National Geographic and others talk about how the phrase goes back centuries longer. The ancient Greeks and Romans had many stories about Canis Major and specifically Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation. Their literature is filled with tales of the star’s association with war and disaster. The more interesting stories tell of astrological bad news involving heat, drought, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. Yikes!
Summer Toil Spells Trouble
But let’s talk about those dog days of summer in modern times. The potential for bad news during especially hot days runs true today, too. The extremely high heat affects human bodies in different ways.
Some love the heat during this time when the earth tilts the most towards the sun, lapping up its rays. Others despise the oppressive heat and seek shelter in air-conditioned havens whenever possible. But one thing everyone can agree on: yard work during this time is the worst. Not only that, over exertion in hot summer weather can be potentially life-threatening.
Of course, you want to have a nice lawn. But you’ve heard stories of people suffering heat exhaustion while pushing around a lawn mower in the heat. That could tempt anyone to ask: why chance it? Workarounds like doing lawn work at ridiculously early or late hours run into noise ordinances that prohibit them.
A seemingly minor point in comparison to human safety: consider the health of your lawn. Grass naturally grows more slowly during droughts. Unless you use an irrigation system, that means it should require fewer cuts. And yet some people doggedly insist in trimming something that doesn’t require trimming.
Mowing during extreme heat or when it hasn’t rained for a few days can damage parched grass. A lawn mower can cause further damage by cutting too low or using dulling blades, another frequent problem mid-mowing season. All this adds up to some very sad grass.
Yet, we’ve all seen that guy who insists on mowing his dirt in the dead of summer. Aside from lamenting how his lawn came to this lowly state, why does he continue to torture it? If pressed, he may say the weed patches still grow or the lawn looks uneven. But all the extra mowing just scalps the yard!
To protect your lawn, experts recommend mowing after a rainfall when the grass will have recovered. Better yet, have a system that trims at the right intervals. One that always gently cuts the appropriate amount of grass blade (no more than a third). The Automower® robotic lawn mower from GizMow can help you and your lawn survive the dog days of summer.
GizMow is the first dedicated robotic lawn mowing sales and service provider in the St. Louis area. They can set you up to enjoy the entire summer – including the dog days – with minimal effort on your part. Call 314-7-GIZMOW or complete their online form to get started.