10 Essential Things You Need to Do to Your Lawn Right Now
With summer barbecues and other outdoor parties in full swing, you want your lawn looking its best. Check out these summer lawn care tips to get the greenest and thickest grass on the block.
Leave the Grass a Little Long
Although it may go against your instincts, mow high during the summer months. Taller grass blades encourage the roots to grow deeper, and deeper roots are better for seeking that all important water. Plus, tall grass actually helps to shade the soil and keep it cooler; which means less water is needed. And who doesn't love a lower water bill? How old is your lawn mower? Here's how to know when it's time to buy a new one.
For beautiful golf-course-green grass, you need to water your lawn consistently. Water deeply twice a week, instead of daily shallow watering. Use a screwdriver to check how deeply water is penetrating the soil as you water. Try to keep the sprinklers on long enough to reach a moist-soil depth of 4 to 6 inches.
Sharpen the Mower Blade
Did you know you should sharpen your mower blade about every two months? Mowing with a dull blade results in a ragged and sloppy cut. Not only does it not look great, but a uneven cut can effect the overall health of your grass and cause it to turn brown.
Water in the Morning
There's a reason you don't see a lot of sprinklers on in the middle of the day. Heat causes water to evaporate, so if you water your lawn during the hottest parts of the day, your grass won't get the drink it needs. In the summer, be sure to time your watering in the morning, ideally between 6 and 10 a.m. Plus: Check out 11 of our favorite front yard landscaping ideas.
Control Lawn Grubs
If you notice dead patches of grass, that you can peel up like carpet, you might have lawn grubs. These destructive pests are white, C-shaped, and can grow as big as the size of a quarter. They like to feast on the soil and grass roots and damage your beautiful lawn. To get rid of them, it's important to kill the grubs before they hatch, which is usually in the middle of summer. Apply a preventative grub control killer, then water immediately to activate the product. If it's late summer and they've already hatched, use a product that kills on contact like Bayer Advanced Grub Killer.
Everyone knows your grass needs water to grow, but did you know it needs oxygen too? Aerating your lawn reduces compaction and improves drainage. In late August or September, aerate your lawn with what's called a plug or core aerator—a machine that pulls plugs of soil out of your lawn to allow necessary air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the roots. Here are a few other lawn aerator methods. Find out which one is best for you.
Manage Weed Control
If you notice a couple weeds in your grass, chances are there are more to come. They multiply quickly and before you know it your whole lawn as been infected. Larger weeds can be removed by hand, but if the weeds have started to take over your entire yard, you'll need a post-emergent weed killer. Make sure to get a selective broad-leaf herbicide, which targets weeds, without damaging the grass.
Repair Dead Spots
These hot summer days are perfect for your kids to get outdoors and play on the slip-n-slide or in the kiddie pool. But, unfortunately these water toys can wreak havoc on the grass underneath them. After cleaning up, you might be left with dead patches where the toys were located. Simply clear away the dead grass and apply a grass patching product, which is a combination of seed, fertilizer and growing material. Be sure to choose the correct product for your specific grass type. Here are more tips for repairing a sick and patchy lawn.
Don't Mow Wet Grass
For all seasons, including summer, try to mow when your grass is dry. Wet grass clogs your mower and clumps together as you mow, causing an uneven cut. Soggy soil can also cause wheel tracks that tear up your grass. So if you're watering in the morning, try to mow in the evening for the best looking grass.
Resist the Temptation to Fertilize
In addition to the right amount of water, your lawn needs nutrients if you want it to reach its full potential. However, late summer is not the best times to fertilize your lawn. Applying fertilizer in the spring and late fall is recommended because the spring feeding gets your lawn off to a good start and the fall feeding helps strengthen the roots and provide nitrogen to your lawn green-up quickly next spring.
So, instead of fertilizing this weekend, check out these seven outdoor games you can make with stuff you already have!
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