Summer Lawn Care Tips
Around the country, the sun is rising earlier and earlier and temperatures are steadily increasing, which can only mean one thing: Summer is coming. For most households, summer means more time spent outside, taking full advantage of the warm, pleasant weather. Get your yard in shape for Summer. With just a few simple ways to prepare your lawn for the Summer, you will be able to enjoy your yard all season long.
Grass requires different kinds of care during different times of the year. Whether you live somewhere warm, like the South or Southwest, or somewhere comparatively cool, like the Midwest or Northeast, you should be altering your maintenance habits and schedules for the upcoming summer season. Here’s how to ensure your lawn is as lush and green as possible — and to be certain it stays that way all summer long.
Lawn Mowing Tips
The late spring is every lawn’s high-growth period, so around this time you need to kick your mowing into high gear. This time of year, you should be mowing your lawn at least once per week to keep it close to its ideal height — which for cool-season grasses is between three and four inches, but for warm-season grasses is between a half-inch and an inch.
Because of all the mowing you’ll be doing, it’s not a bad idea to give your lawn mower a tune-up. You can take the entire mower to a local repair service, which will clean out the engine, replace any broken or aging components and sharpen the blades. Then, you won’t have to worry about skipping an important mow because your mower won’t start.
Summer Lawn Fertilize
In truth, you only need to fertilize your lawn once per year. If you live in a region that experiences winter snows, it might be wise to fertilize in the fall, using a high-phosphorus lawn good to stimulate extra root growth.
However, if your winters are moderate, you might want to fertilize in the mid- or late-spring using a high-nitrogen mix. This will encourage your lawn to grow more blades of grass, making it thick and healthy-looking on top.
As always, you should use a tool like a drop spreader when you fertilize to ensure an even spread of the plant food; otherwise, you could create ugly patches in your lawn when you fertilize.
Best Time To Water Your Lawn
Your watering patterns shouldn’t change all that much because of the impending hot weather. Experts say you should give your lawn one and a half inches of water per week, regardless of the temperature outside.
When the weather heats up, it’s important that you irrigate your lawn in the early morning, which will allow most of the water to sink into the soil without evaporation — but it will also prevent your lawn from drowning in excess water for hours on end.
If you are lucky enough to have a sprinkler system in your yard, you’ll want to get that tuned up before summertime. When sprinkler systems are dormant during the cool season, they can become clogged with debris or cracked from freezing temperatures.
A local sprinkler repair service can identify problems with your system or otherwise ensure it is functioning optimally for the summer.
Weeds love the summertime at least as much as you do. It’s not uncommon for unwanted plant growth to surge in the summer months, so you should prepare ahead of time with the right weed protections around your lawn.
Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed seeds from germinating — but they also stop grass seed from taking root, so you shouldn’t spray these if you plan to overseed or reseed in the coming year. Instead, you should remain vigilant for signs of common lawn weeds and hand-pull them as necessary.
Summer Yard Clean Up
Your lawn is useless if you can’t spend your summers sprawled on it or let your kids run and play on it while they have time off from school. That said, you should avoid letting toys or debris sit on your lawn for long periods, and you should try to avoid tramping the same path across your lawn day-in and day-out.
This is because the soil beneath your lawn can easily become compacted by heavy use, and compacted soil will stifle your lawn, leading to unsightly bare patches. You can remedy compaction with annual aeration — usually performed in the early spring — but its best to avoid the issue entirely by cleaning up leaf litter and toys as well as by preventing heavy traffic across your lawn.
You want your lawn to be in tip-top shape for summertime, but that won’t happen without your help. By developing the right lawn care habits and relying on the right experts, you can enjoy the greenest, lushest lawn in the neighborhood not just during the summer but all year long, too.
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