The curb appeal of your home can add thousands of dollars to its value. Whether the exterior of your home is well maintained, it is beautifully landscaped, or has a paver walkway or driveway, there is nothing like a lush green lawn that brings it all together.
The preparation of your lawn for the summer season begins in early spring when you dethatch, aerate, seed and fertilize your lawn. It is a crucial step in making sure your lawn is prepared for all of nature’s elements during the spring, summer and fall seasons. Once July rolls around, it is too late to give your lawn the tender loving care it needs, as the dry oppressive temperatures of summer make it almost impossible to manage weeds, brown spots and dead grass.
But there is hope. And there is a way to keep your grass green during the summer months with a few key proactive steps you can take.
Water your grass and plants in the morning as the soil is able to absorb more water when the sun isn’t beating down on it. The later in the day you water the grass, the better chance the sun will cause it to evaporate before it gets down to the roots. It is also best to water your lawn three times a week, making sure the water soaks the lawn. When you water more often for less time, it creates a shallow root system which is more likely to brown and die when the temperatures are very hot.
If your property has a sprinkler system, don’t assume that your grass is all set for the season. Sprinkler schedules may need to be adjusted if there is a lot of rain, or not enough rain, coupled with oppressive temperatures. It should also be checked to make sure all of the heads are properly spraying and not broken. A sprinkler head or line can fail or be damaged during the season and may cause flooding or pooling in certain areas, or lack of flow to other areas, thereby causing damage to your lawn.
Don’t forget to care for and properly water your shrubs and plant beds as well. Remove any dead leaves and branches to keep your landscaping looking fresh and beautiful throughout the summer.
Aerate your lawn with a simple garden fork occasionally. This process will allow more oxygen to get into the ground so the roots of your lawn can breathe. This also allows for water and nutrients to get deeper into the soil.
Once you’ve aerated your lawn, consider a good fertilizer. Fertilizer adds nutrients that help your grass stay green. Consult with a lawn care professional to identify what time of the season is the best to fertilize. There is a limited window of time where fertilizer will benefit your lawn, as opposed to harm it.
If you mow your lawn yourself, keep your grass higher in the summer months. This is a trick that will help your grass stay greener, as the taller blades help prevent water from evaporating too quickly. Just set your mower to three inches or the highest setting and mow your lawn more frequently – every week to two weeks should do. Your grass may be a little taller but it will look neat and has a better chance of staying green.
Knowing your lawn, the type of species it is and how it grows, is an important part of keeping your lawn looking great all year round. There are specific requirements for each species of grass, and benefits for maintaining certain minimum and maximum heights. Mowing performed at the correct height and frequency is essential to the health and density of your lawn.
If you notice brown spots or damaged areas on your lawn it may be insects or fungus. It is important to treat the infestation quickly or it can spread throughout your grass. Once treated, you can remove the dead patches of grass, prepare the soil and seed the area. With a little TLC and careful watering, you should see seedlings after a few weeks. If your grass is just browning because of the high heat, consider dethatching and aerating the area and seeding it. Although this is not routinely done until the fall, the right watering schedule and care can provide a better looking lawn in just a few weeks.
If maintaining your lawn is just too much, consider hiring a professional landscaper. Regular maintenance and a fertilizer program, which includes insect and weed treatment can keep your lawn looking green and great all year round.
Gary Malandro, President Gary’s Landscaping
(718) 761-2475 www.garyslandscaping.com