The lawn surrounding your home is likely a point of pride that you want to keep looking nice in every season. Summer presents homeowners with challenges when caring for their lawn. The warm weather encourages weeds to grow as well as grass, the high temperatures can scorch grass, and rising utility bills make watering on a frequent basis expensive. By keeping these four important summer lawn maintenance tips in mind, you can beat the season at its own game and keep your lawn looking healthy and lush.
1. Test Your Soil
When the yard starts to look unhealthy, people generally think they aren’t watering enough, though the soil itself might be to blame for poor lawn quality. Soil with pH levels that are too low or too high will cause your lawn to suffer. Thankfully, this can be corrected with the right soil additives. Lime can be added to soil with low pH to decrease the acidity; elemental sulfur can be added to lower high soil pH.
Soil can be tested by sending a sample to your nearest USDA agricultural center. Check online to find your nearest extension. Keep in mind that soil testing can take several weeks, so it is best to make this the first of your summer lawn maintenance tasks.
2. Apply the Right Fertilizer
If you have been to a garden center recently, you might have felt overwhelmed by the variety of lawn fertilizer products available. This wealth of choices is available because lawns can vary considerably in their needs. If your lawn has failed to thrive even after fertilizing it according to the package’s instructions, you may be using the wrong product.
A soil test will help you determine what kind of fertilizer to use; the test should tell you what nutrients your lawn’s soil is lacking. Using this information, you can shop accordingly. Purchase fertilizers that have high amounts of the nutrients your soil is lacking.
3. Cut Grass at the Right Height
Some people prefer a tight, short lawn while others love a lush, soft lawn. In many ways, grass height is a matter of personal preference, although there is a science behind opting for a taller lawn. Set your mower to cut at a height of three inches for optimal results. This is a good height because the taller the grass grows, the deeper its roots have a chance to penetrate the soil. Deeper roots mean that the lawn retains moisture longer than a lawn that is kept at a shorter length. The additional height also better shades the soil so water evaporates less quickly throughout the day. Most mowers allow you to easily adjust the cut settings.
4. Water at the Right Time of Day
Watering in the middle of the day when temperatures are at their highest results in water evaporating long before it ever reaches the soil. Watering in the early morning is best since water soaks into the soil and reaches the lawn’s root system before the sun dries it out. This strategy conserves water while also being the best way to nourish your lawn. If you have a sprinkler system, set it to automatically turn on for approximately an hour a couple times a week in the morning. It is better to water less frequently for longer periods of time than to water for a short period of time daily.
Summer Lawn Maintenance Made Simple
Summer is certainly the busiest time of year when it comes to lawn maintenance. With the right planning, summer lawn maintenance can be effective and rewarding.