Summer is here. For lawn owners, this will be a challenging season as you'll need to give extra attention to your yard to protect it from the summer heat. The grass can be finicky in these months and the extra heat can damage the plants. Excess heat can also take a toll on the turf. It thus requires additional effort to keep your lawn healthy during summertime.
To maintain a lush, green lawn during the summer months, follow these simple yet effective tips.
Your lawn needs oxygen to remain healthy and thus it’s important to keep it well aerated. Aerating is the process of punching small holes throughout your lawn. This will allow water and other nutrients sufficient room to soak deep into the soil surface and help the grass to grow deeper, stronger, and richer. Furthermore, an aerated lawn absorbs water better and won’t let it run off easily.
There are a few ways you can aerate the grass of your yard. You can opt for a gas-powered machine called a core aerator that will comfortably pull out small cores of grass and soil. There are other aerators, too, that use short spikes to punch holes in the turf. However, the easiest and cheapest method you can go for is using a garden fork and pushing it into the ground at 15 cm (around 6 inches) intervals throughout your lawn. That being said, if you have to cover large areas, then an aerator machine would be better.
Watering is, of course, the very basic and essential step in keeping your lawn or yard in healthy shape through the summer months. However, you must remember not to go overboard with it either. Keep an eye out on the weather forecast and water adequately when there is no rain, but also if you live in an especially dry area. The best time of the day to water your lawn is between 4 am and 10 am.
Avoid watering from 12 pm to 6 pm as that is the hottest part of the day and the water will evaporate much faster during this period. Also, when you are watering, make sure you do it deep enough so that you'll only need to do it 2-3 times a week. Your lawn or yard needs about an inch of water a week. Having pools of standing water in some places means you are overdoing it.
Another tip to keep in mind here is to never leave water in your hose. Water that has been left can become quite warm in the summer months. Warm enough to scald the blades of grass. Thus, empty your hose after you are done watering.
To keep your lawn looking at its best, it would be better if you raise the cutting height of your lawnmower during the summer. This will ensure that the grass doesn’t dry out quickly and will also aid the growth of longer roots. They can then reach down for moisture even on hot, dry days.
Furthermore, the roots will be better secured because of the longer blades. Set the mower on one of the highest settings and it can make a huge difference. Mowing your lawn every two to three weeks in the summer is the best way to keep it tidy and orderly.
Your lawn needs nourishment as all plants eventually deplete the nutrients in the soil. The most effective way to feed your lawn is with fertilizer in the summertime. There are different kinds of fertilizers you can use for your yard. Homemade compost works best for many. However, if you don’t have the tools, resources, or space to create your own, you can opt for organic and chemical fertilizers. Both will be equally effective for fertilizing your lawn.
Organic fertilizers are composed of naturally-occurring compounds, like manure, or emulsified seaweed and cottonseed particles. Chemical fertilizers are easily available and are cheaper and easier to maintain. However, in the long run, they can damage the soil of your yard. Organic fertilizer, while being slightly more expensive, is better for the environment and the overall health of your lawn.
Irrigation systems are an effective way of maintaining your yard in the scorching summer heat. The flowers, trees, and shrubs in your yard will get enough moisture with its help. Furthermore, irrigation systems also help in preventing soil erosion and control the temperature by cooling the ground and the surrounding areas.
Bear in mind, though, that you must get an expert to install the irrigation system in your lawn. A professional will be able to identify any issues and will also do the required groundwork before installing the system. An incorrectly installed irrigation system can lead to flooding and damage plant life.
You cannot allow dead grass to accumulate on your lawn. It will result in unhealthy grass everywhere and can also affect the remaining part of the lawn. It is hence better to dethatch or rake the accumulated dead grass or “hay”. This will allow sunlight to properly reach down further into the soil and stimulate new and healthy growth.
However, before you start, it would be important to ascertain the stage of your grass to help you protect the roots. If you are unsure about the amount of thatch you should remove, you can consult a lawn service professional. Ideally, doing this once at the end of the summer season would be prudent.
Adding proper shade to your lawn will be a great help to its health during the summer heat. Plants dry up pretty easily in the heat of the warmest summer months. So apart from keeping them well hydrated, adding adequate shade is vital, too. Planting some larger plants or a tree with reaching branches and dense foliage will certainly help in this regard. Short shrubs and flowers will provide good shade on the walkway.
Also, taller shrubs around patios and garden beds will give some relief from the heat to both plants and people. Another thing that might prove beneficial here is setting up pockets of shade rather than shading the entire yard. If none of these are for you, you can also make use of some accessories like umbrellas and lawn ornaments. They will give your lawn a well-shaded look while also keeping it cool.