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Paying extra attention to your lawn ahead of summer is a great way to keep it green and lush. It’s never too soon to prepare your yard for the hot summer days. Just like you take care of your skin and protect it from the scorching sun and summer heat, you also need to protect your lawn; this is because the sun causes as much damage to your lawn as it does to your skin. If your lawn is luscious and green enough for the summer, you would have an open space for BBQs, parties, sunbathing, and other fun summer activities. There are different kinds of grass, and soil types, each of these has to be properly cared for so they can withstand the harsh summer weather conditions. Preparing your lawn for the summer and maintaining it go hand in hand. Here are the ways you can care for your lawn in preparation for summer.
Also see Caring For Your Lawn During Winter
Preparing Your Lawn for summer
Test your soil
The first thing to do when getting your lawn ready for summer is to assess your lawn. Testing your soil gives you an idea of how you can take care of your lawn and what products to use. The quality of soil in a particular area changes over time due to the increase in acidity caused by planting. The more you plant, the more acidic the soil becomes. The pH of soil also depends on the weather conditions in that area. If it is a hot desert area, the soil may be more alkaline; this means it is not acidic. Humid areas where it tends to rain frequently have soil with higher acidic content. The test results will help you make decisions on the type of fertilizer to use and how to balance the soil’s pH. If your soil is acidic, you will need added lime, dolomite limestone, and wood ash; an alkaline soil will require horticultural sulphur, composted leaves, and pine needles.
Aerate your lawn
Aerating your lawn lets air, water, and other nutrients reach the root. A healthy root system allows your grass and other plants to grow well and survive during the hot summer. It is a way of letting your lawn breathe and should be done at least once every year. You can use a garden fork or an aerator for this. When using a garden fork, push the spike into the ground and leave it in for at least 30 minutes. Move the fork back and forth, so the soil breaks before pulling it out. The spikes crack the soil and create a hole for water, oxygen, and other nutrients to get to the root and keep it healthy enough for the harshest weather conditions.
Rake or clean up your lawn
Your lawn most likely has debris, thatch, leaves, or decaying plants all around it that may have accumulated. You can use a rake to clear up the leaves and dead plants. Leaving these materials on your lawn may prevent it from thriving; these materials block sunlight and prevent water and oxygen from reaching the root. It is advisable to rake your lawn when you notice new grass growing. Look out for toys, sticks, and other items when raking your lawn.
Get rid of moss and weeds
You may notice moss growing in the moist and shaded part of your lawn; this is common, especially after a long winter period. Spring is the best time to get rid of moss and weeds that may be around that area. This is an important step when preparing your lawn for the summer because weeds hinder the growth of new grass and plants. You can decide to eliminate the weed or moss manually or use chemical treatment. Use the method that works for you. You should lookout for new weed growth and take them out before it dominates your lawn.
Fertilize your lawn
Fertilizing your lawn is a way of providing the soil with the nutrients it needs to remain lush and healthy. Choose a fertilizer that is compatible with your soil type; using the wrong type of fertilizer may cause more harm than good. If you have a cold -season type of grass on your lawn, fertilize your lawn in early spring and at the beginning of fall; it is best to use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content. You can also use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen for your warm-season grass; this type of grass blossoms over the summer, so you may have to fertilize it again in late summer.
The hot summer weather causes the blades of your grass to grow even more, which is why you need a strong fertilizer to keep the soil healthy and strong enough to withstand these conditions. The fertilizer should not only provide your lawn with nutrients but should also reduce the growth of weeds and moss. You should apply fertilizer to your lawn at least twice a year when you notice new growth. The fertilizer you purchase should have instructions on how and when to use it; follow these instructions to keep your lawn healthy and apply fertilizer as frequently as instructed. This step should not be ignored because the grasses in your lawn may appear dry and yellow if it’s neglected.
Mow your lawn regularly
Mowing your lawn at least once a week is a major aspect of preparing your lawn for the summer. It is a way to keep your lawn neatly trimmed and manicured. Trimming your lawn depends on how fast the grass grows; professionals advise to mow your lawn once a week during springtime and keep it at the height of about 2.5 to 3 inches. When summer arrives, mow your lawn at least twice a week and keep it half an inch longer so it can shade the soil from the heat and harsh conditions of the sun. The grass on your lawn tends to grow more and faster during summer; trimming it twice a week is a way of taming the grass and keeping it beautiful. There are different kinds of lawnmowers, from the small-sized push mower to the heavy-duty riding lawn mowers; choose the one that best suits the size of your lawn.
Check out Best Lawn Mowers For Small Yards
Here are some lawn mowing tips
- Set your mower at a very high setting so it can only cut about 1/3 of the blades of the grass at a time; this is to protect the soil and maintain the integrity of the root system. Long grass blades shade the soil from heat, keeps it cool, and prevents weed from growing.
- Mow your lawn as often as needed, you don’t need to have a scheduled time to trim your lawn. Trim your lawn as soon as you notice the grass growing beyond your desired height.
- When looking to purchase a mower, choose one that allows you to store grass clippings in a side bag or mulch, i.e., leave the clippings on the lawn.
- Give your mower a maintenance check if it’s been stored away for a long time, sharpen the blades, inflate the tires, and oil the motor if necessary before using it on your lawn.
Water your lawn consistently
Water is an important factor needed when preparing your lawn for the summer. You need to water your lawn as often as possible to keep it healthy and green. If you live in a dry area, you would need to water your lawn frequently, so it doesn’t dry up. In preparation for summer, it is advisable to set up a sprinkler system to provide your lawn with enough water. Watering your lawn daily is much needed even in areas with enough rainfall because water from the rain is not enough to keep your lawn healthy. Aerate your lawn if the ground beneath it is too hard to allow water to penetrate it. Watering your lawn at night and early in the morning is necessary, this is so that the grass can retain the moisture; you can set a timer to your sprinkler system to save you from stress. See Best Oscillating Sprinklers
Beautifying Your Lawn
If you plan to have summer gatherings or BBQ parties, you need to beautify your lawn. Your lawn should be kept green, healthy, and attractive. Below are some of the simple ways to beautify your lawn
There’s nothing more beautiful than having flowers in your yard. Flowers embellish your yard and your home; you can separate a small area of your lawn to grow some flowers. You can plant different types of seasonal and perennial flowers. Consult a specialist if you don’t know the type of flower to plant.
Plant a vegetable garden
Keeping a vegetable garden is a way to maintain your lawn and keep it beautiful. There are various types of vegetables to plant; designate a portion of your yard for this purpose. Make sure the soil is properly aerated and healthy enough to grow vegetables.
Build a fence around your lawn
Build a fence around your lawn to enhance it, protect it from pets and kids, or for privacy. You can build a simple wooden fence to surround that area. Building a fence can be a fun activity for you and your family; you can also hire a handyman to build your fence.
Build a footpath
Constructing a footpath with wooden planks or flagstones helps to protect your lawn. You can build a path across your lawn so people can traverse your lawn or garden without trampling the grass.
Purchase outdoor furniture
You may be spending a lot of time outdoors during the summer; you will need to purchase some basic outdoor furniture for this purpose. You can get lawn chairs or even a dining set so to host your friends and family. You can transform your yard into an outdoor lawn by purchasing water-resistant chairs, a small bench, or reclining chairs.
Your lawn should be one of the most attractive areas of your home. It is an open space, and you have the liberty to transform it into anything you want. Preparing your lawn for summer is not a day’s job; this has to be done months before, during, and even after summer. Keep your lawn neatly trimmed at all times, feed it with the appropriate nutrients, water it, and pay more attention to that area.