We’re now well into the spring and headed directly towards the hot summer. Unfortunately, during the hot summer months, your beautiful lawn may not look quite as lush or as green. But this doesn’t mean you should just throw in the towel. We have some helpful tips for you to prepare your yard for the hot summer months.
1) Fertilize! Many people wait until the lawn starts to look droopy before putting down some fertilizer, but the fact is – this is the worst time to fertilize. Depending upon the type of grass you are growing, you will need to fertilize or even aerate in mid-spring. Although fertilizer is a foundation for a healthy lawn, it’s important not to over fertilize. Over-fertilizing can lead high levels of nitrogen into our ground water system, which eventually gets into our drinking water.
2) Make sure you don’t have a bug or insect problem. Even if you are doing everything else right, there could be something attacking your yard from underneath. Look for holes in the ground, dying plants or shrubs or grass, or even sick and unhealthy shrubs or trees.
3) Mulch gardens and beds. Mulching helps to keep the moisture in the soil. But like the fertilizer, you can over-mulch. So watch what you’re doing and only apply the mulch that you need.
4) Keep the yard and beds free from weeds by either pulling them by hand or using a specialized weed application.
5) If you water, do so in the early morning – like 5:00 am. Water just enough for the season and don’t over water. You can use a sprinkler system or a hose system if they are allowed in your area. This helps to distribute the water properly.
6) Keep your grass properly mowed, but don’t make it too short. If you cut it too short, it might actually encourage the grass to go dormant until the fall. You also want to mow often. This means that you are cutting smaller pieces off the grass, which works similar to mulch. It helps to shade the grass and keep the soil moist.
Although it’s true that to get the best summer grass, you need to start in the spring, you will probably see some wilting and dry patches in the summer anyway. This is normal for our area and is a result of the hot summer conditions.