The best lawns are those that are maintained through the constant care and attention of the owner. The hot summer months are the time to be the most diligent with your lawn and garden care. All it takes is a little bit of maintenance and tending and you can keep your yard in top shape.
Here are some tips for summer:
- As a general rule, your lawn should receive the equivalent of about one inch of rain per week during summer months – preferably not all at once. One of the biggest mistakes is overwatering, which can lead to lawn rot and diseases. Early morning is the best time to water.
- If you walk on your grass and can still see your footprints an hour or two later, it’s too dry to mow. Water or wait for better conditions to mow.
- Mow lawns as needed, but remove no more than one-third of the height of the grass. This ensures that the root system is not stressed. Clippings can be left on tall fescue lawns to recycle nutrients and add organic matter back into the soil.
- Don’t forget your garden while on vacation. Have a friend or neighbor water your container plantings while you are away. Your annual flowers may require watering at least once a week, as well.
- Potted plants don’t hold onto water well. Water them daily, or as often as is needed to maintain a moist – but not muddy – consistency. Choose a hose with a wide nozzle and aim the water spray gently. Plastic and glazed plant and flower containers work best as they don’t allow water to evaporate like terra cotta pots do.
- Deadhead annual and perennial flowers to keep their energy in flower production, not seed development. Pinch out the top buds of dahlias, phlox, and garden mums for bushier plants and more flowers later in the season.
- Applying a mild insecticide in late June or early July will help control many common insects such as beetle grubs, European Chafers, and Japanese Beetles. A mild insecticide is best because it will usually not cause much harm to the beneficial insects throughout your lawn.
- Keep vines from growing on your house. They trap moisture and encourage bugs to get into your home. Instead, install a trellis next to your home for vines to climb.
- Install a rain barrel for a great, natural way to conserve water for your flower beds.
- Keep your shrubs and bushes trimmed, especially around your home. They can harbor insects and termites that can damage your house. Untrimmed bushes also make great places for uninvited humans to hide as well.
- Water trees in times of drought. Trees that have been weakened by drought stress are susceptible to a host of problems. A little bit of water will be much less expensive than replacing a tree.
Your lawn and landscaping will thank you with its beauty if you keep these tips in mind.