When you’re thinking about summer, thoughts of hot weather, cool dips in the pool, and vacations spent with your family probably pop into your head. But one thing that should also pop into your head is lawn care. Which, if we’re being honest, should actually begin in spring. Spring is when summer lawn care truly starts, as that’s when the groundwork (no pun intended) is laid for a lawn and garden that is healthy throughout the summer.
So how DO you prepare your lawn for summer? There are a few things that MUST be on the list, and we’re here to share them with you.
Raking will do several things for you. It will help clear your lawn of any debris that has built up and loosen thick areas of thatching. But it will also help you spot any areas of damage or dead spots that need your attention.
Soil becomes compacted over time. This makes it almost impenetrable for the nutrients and moisture that your lawn so desperately needs, especially as the weather becomes increasingly warmer. Compacted areas will need to be aerated. You will poke little holes in the compacted soil and also break it up so that it can be penetrated by water and any treatments that need to be applied. Granted, aeration is most advisable in fall. Even so, if the soil has become compacted over the winter months, you’ll need to aerate in spring to get your lawn healthy and summer-ready.
Lawns need a natural pH, but your soil might be too out of balance to allow proper growth of your turf. Test the soil to determine its acidity levels. Then treat accordingly with the proper amount of lime to get it back into balance. Balanced soil is happy soil, and that means happy grass.
Unless your lawn is actually AstroTurf, you’ve probably got a few patchy spots. Filling in those bald spots is easily done with applications of grass seed. This is a practice known in the biz as “overseeding.” As you spread the seeds, also be sure to apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. About a month after the seeds have germinated, keep them growing strong by applying quick-release nitrogen fertilizer.
Please note, however, that overseeding at this point in the year is ONLY advisable if you’re looking at some desperately sparse situations. Overseeding should otherwise happen only in fall.
While fertilizing to help fortify your lawn is certainly needed, springtime applications of fertilizers should be lighter than those happening in late fall. Over-fertilizing can cause areas of disease and actually encourage weed to grow.
Pre-Emergent and Post-Emergent Herbicides
Depending on your weed situation, you might need to apply chemicals called herbicides that are designated by type – namely pre-emergent or post-emergent. Pre-emergent herbicides act preventatively against the growth or annual weeds that encroach on your lawn and choke out the grass. Post-emergent herbicides, by contrast, are for those cases when perennial weeds have already shown themselves to be present in your yard and are happily soaking up the sun.
Your favorite thing to do, right? To keep your lawn in shape, it really is necessary, so plan to mow every five days or so to ensure that it doesn’t grows too high. Be sure not to lower the blade too low. Usually, the grass still needs enough height to prevent the sun from scorching the roots as summer sets in.
At Executive Landscaping, Inc., we advise you to never forget the old Boy Scout adage about always being prepared. Even in the case of lawn care, it still holds true, as properly preparing your lawn for summer is crucial to keep it healthy all season long.
Give the landscaping experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc. a call to learn more about how we can prepare your lawn for summer and create an Executive Masterpiece for you today!