Every homeowner wants a beautiful lawn. We admire the lawns of others; sometimes we wonder why theirs is so much lusher and alive than ours. The thing about lawns is they don’t and won’t become impressive and perfect on their own. They need to be maintained. That’s where you come in. If you want the most glorious lawn on the block, you’re going to have to know a bit about lawn maintenance.
You might think that you already know everything you need to know about lawn maintenance, but if your lawn doesn’t look like you want it to yet, then you may benefit from some extra guidance.
If your goal this year is to achieve the lawn of your dreams, read on. In this informative post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about maintaining your lawn this summer from beginning to end.
The Basics of Summer Lawn Care
As soon as the last snow melts, it’s time to start thinking about your lawn. Your lawn is dormant all winter while the weather is cold, but once it starts to get warmer outside, your lawn is excited to come back to life. It’s up to you to know what to do to encourage this.
Of course, established, healthy grass will grow without much help from you – but if you want a lawn that you can really be proud of, there are many things you can do to help it along.
What to Do in the Spring
In the springtime, you should take a long, hard look at your lawn. First, consider hiring a company to do a spring clean-up to help you clear and prepare it for the new year.
Even before your lawn starts to bounce back from the winter, you may be able to identify patchy areas that may need a round or two of grass seed. If the areas are bare, you can either aerate and loosen the dirt with a rake or shovel, or do that and put some new topsoil over it. Plant some seeds and cover them with some netting so the birds don’t carry them away.
Springtime is also a great time of year to fertilize your lawn (Fall is best). When you feed your lawn with fertilizer early in the season, it will help to push out the root system in the turfgrass and provide for a quicker greenup. This will help prepare it for withstanding the hot days of the summer as well. Unless you have a warm-season grass type like Zoysia, you will want to lay off the summer fertilizations completely to prevent stressing the lawn further during the hotter months.
As temps begin to rise into the summer months move your lawnmower blades higher (3-4″ for most cool-season is a good range). You may have to mow more often than if you set them low, but by allowing your grass to grow tall, you are encouraging each blade to grow longer roots as it reaches for water below. This will keep your grass stronger and thicker all year.
Also, rather than collecting your grass clippings, leave them on the lawn. As they break down, they’ll fertilize the rest of the grass.
What to Do in the Summer
If you’ve followed all of the above tips, you’ve already given your lawn a great head start in the springtime, and by June it should be looking great.
However, you’re not done yet. To keep your lawn looking lush and healthy, you’ll need to continue with ongoing lawn maintenance.
Of all the lawn maintenance tips out there, the most important is adequate watering. Summers are hot. We need water to survive this type of weather, and so do our lawns. Several days without rain can stress out your lawn if you’re not careful.
It’s hard to know how much water is the right amount when it comes to yard care by just looking at your lawn. The best way to gauge it is by using a trowel or screwdriver to see how deeply the water penetrates. For the best results, you’ll want to make sure the water is going at least four to six inches into the ground each time you water. Use a timer and see how long it takes to achieve this goal. Then you’ll know for the future.
Some people water their lawns in the morning and some people do so in the evening. Although either option is beneficial, experts say that watering in the morning is preferable. If you water when the weather is still cool, your grass will be able to absorb that water before much evaporates. When you water at night, the grass may struggle to stay warm when the nighttime temperature drops. Excessive moisture left on the turfgrass overnight can also foster lawn diseases that may do damage so we prefer to water in the early AM before high temps.
Also, you can fertilize your lawn again after waiting six to eight weeks after your initial application. It may be tempting to fertilize more often but don’t. Over-fertilization can burn your grass and it can actually deplete the natural nutrients in the soil. It’s also important to follow your local Moco laws on proper application and how much nitrogen is allowed per application and per season. When in doubt, don’t fertilize at all in the summer-time.
All summer long, be vigilant against weeds. Keep an eye out for them and remove them before they get too big. When you neglect weeds, they can take over a corner of your lawn faster than you can believe. Borders of flower beds are also a great place for turfgrass weeds to germinate and jump back into your lawn area.
Lawn Maintenance Isn’t Easy
All of the above lawn maintenance tips are quite simple and if you apply each and every one of them to your lawn this summer, you’ll see a great improvement that will impress both your family and your neighbors.
However, lawn maintenance isn’t always as easy as it sounds. If you try all of the above and you still aren’t getting the results you hope for, it might be time to call a lawn maintenance company to give you a hand. Any professional lawn maintenance service will be able to use their vast experience to evaluate your lawn and to create a plan of action to make it the very best lawn it can be.
If you’re looking for help with your lawn in Montgomery County, Maryland, please give us a call today. We’re here to help and we can’t wait to meet you and see your lawn.