Cold temperatures, rain and snow can wreak havoc on your lawn over the long winter months. Luckily, there are steps you can take now in order to prepare your lawn for summer, and enjoy green, healthy grass all season long.
Great landscaping not only makes for a great looking lawn, but enhances the look of the entire exterior of your home. It adds curb appeal, and can increase the resale value of your property.
Here are some steps you can take to have your lawn in tip-top shape for summer!
Aerating helps your lawn to form a healthy root system by allowing the grass to breathe, as well as enabling the nutrients and water to reach the root system more efficiently. The best time to aerate is early spring or autumn. Experts typically recommend aerating every 1 to 3 years; however, high-traffic areas may require that it be done more frequently.
Grab a rake and gather up all of the excess thatch. This decaying plant material can build up and block sunlight and prevent water from reaching the roots. The best time of year to remove thatch is in the fall, when you’re raking leaves. Thatch removal is one of the best ways to ensure your lawn will be healthy for summer. This should also be done in the spring, and is usually done in conjunction with aeration.
Apply fertilizer to your lawn twice a year, scaling back about 30 days before peak growing season. It’s important to use the right kind of fertilizer to ensure the healthiest lawn and most efficient root system. Cool season grasses should be fertilized in early spring, after the dormancy of winter. Fertilization should also occur in early fall; you’ll want to use fertilizers with a higher concentration of nitrogen for the fall applications.
During the peak growing seasons, grass needs about 1 inch of irrigation every week. Experts recommend a single, deep irrigation, rather than smaller more frequent ones, as this may cause shallow root penetration. Deep roots are crucial if you want your lawn to withstand those hot summer temperatures. Never water your lawn in the early afternoon, when the sun’s rays are strongest, as this can cause scorching. The best time for watering is early morning, or early evening.
Use a systematic approach when mowing to maintain the overall health of your lawn. Don’t cut more than one-third of the grass’ height during one mowing. Frequent mowing in the spring will encourage healthy, strong roots. In the heat of summer, raise the mower’s blade – longer grass shades the soil, which helps lock in moisture.
Reseed bare patches in your lawn to maintain an aesthetic look all year long. The best time to reseed is early fall. Till the soil, and spread seeds evenly. Once the seeds have been applied, use a standard fertilizer and water as you normally would. You can use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer once the seeds have germinated, for a more robust growth.
This may seem like too much work, but it will be well worth it when your neighbors compliment you on how nice your yard looks.
If you feel that you just don’t have time for this, or you hate the thought of getting your hands dirty, then consider hiring a professional landscaper to do it for you. Don’t settle for the company who offers the lowest price – do your homework and make sure they are reputable, have trained technicians and will come to your home when they say they will. Talk to past clients, friends and family for their feedback.