Your lawn requires more care and maintenance during the summer than any other time of year. However, this isn’t to say that you’ll need to sink all of your precious summer leisure time into lawn care. Arming yourself with the right knowledge and making a commitment to consistency can go a long way in keeping your lawn healthy throughout the summer months. Provided you know what you’re doing, summertime lawn maintenance doesn’t have to be costly, difficult or time-consuming. Anyone looking to keep their lawn in prime condition all summer long can benefit from the following pointers.
A staggering number of lawns are over-mowed throughout the summer months. When mowing, many homeowners opt to cut their grass as short as possible. To a point, this approach is understandable. After all, the shorter the grass is, the less frequently it will need to be mowed. However, a short lawn isn’t necessarily a healthy lawn. If grass is cut too short, the individual blades will be ill-equipped to retain water and soak in nutrients. Furthermore, tall blades of grass typically take in more sunlight than shorter ones and provide good shade for the surrounding soil, thus encouraging moisture retention.
You can ensure that your grass maintains a healthy length by setting the blades as high as possible. While this may mean having to mow a little more often, it will also result in a healthier, more vibrant lawn. Yes, golf courses and other meticulously maintained properties sport healthy grass that’s cut very short, but those lawns receive a level of maintenance that the average person has neither the time nor inclination to provide.
Be Mindful of How Much Water Your Grass Gets
Many homeowners have a tendency to overwater their grass. Believing that a lawn simply can’t have too much water, these well-intentioned individuals do their grass more harm than good. In addition to being a tremendous waste of water, overwatering stands to make your grass weaker over time. Too much water compromises a lawn’s firmness and makes the grass more dependent on large amounts of water. The more you overwater, the more your grass will crave overwatering. To prevent this, educate yourself on the type of grass that makes up your lawn and determine how much water it needs to stay healthy. Chances are you can find the information you seek online, but if you’re not a fan of this approach, you can also get answers from experts at your local garden store.
To ensure that your lawn doesn’t get any more water than it needs, consider enlisting the services of local plumbers and installing an automatic sprinkler system. These systems run on timers and can be programmed to evenly distribute set amounts of water. Additionally, if you live in an area that’s prone to heavy rainfall, you may not need to run your sprinkler system on a regular basis. In many cases, a hefty dose of rain will more than account for a scheduled watering.
Nip Weeds in the Bud
In addition to negatively impacting the appearance of your lawn, weeds can inhibit its ability to grow properly if left unaddressed. The longer weeds are able to remain in place, the more ingrained they’re likely to become in the soil. With this in mind, make a point of giving your lawn a quick once-over every other day or so. Should you come across any weeds, pull them out at the root. The sooner weeds are removed from your lawn, the better off your grass will be. If a weed problem turns into an infestation, enlist the aid of a professional lawn care service.
During the winter months, many homeowners put lawn maintenance on the backburner. Since the frigid temperatures and consistent snowfall found in many parts of the country make lawn care next to impossible during this time of year, it isn’t difficult to see why. Understandably, not having to worry about your grass all winter can make getting back into the lawn care groove somewhat cumbersome when the weather finally warms up. Luckily, keeping your lawn healthy and looking its best throughout the summer season doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Armed with the previously discussed tips, you can help your grass flourish all summer long without sacrificing your well-earned money or leisure time.
Sarah Eberle qualified and became a member of the Landscape Institute in 1980. Over the last 26 years she has practised landscape architecture and garden design, running her own business in Devon.
During the 1990s, Sarah joined Hillier Landscapes as Design Director, where she is still a shareholder but also runs her own practice in Hampshire.
Sarah has an esteemed record in RHS shows, having won eight Gold medals, Best in Show and the George Cook award for innovation twice at Hampton Court. Sarah has also exhibited at Tatton Park and BBC Gardeners’ World Live.