Keeping your lawn green and lush during the summer months seems like a tough task. We all have that one neighbor on the block that has the most picturesque grass year after year, and it seems like equaling it is merely a homeowner’s pipedream. Well did you know it’s not so much about the work that goes into maintaining a healthy lawn, but rather when and how you do it? These ditech to-dos highlight the ways to get your lawn healthy and green this summer.

Remove Existing Weeds

Remove_Existing_WeedsAttacking weeds before summer begins is a crucial first step, because they thrive during the warmer months. Weeds, especially crab grass, can develop deep roots and reproduce. It’s best to avoid using chemical applications to reduce costs and your carbon footprint. So survey your lawn and try these natural solutions to eradicate them. By removing weeds, your grass doesn’t have to compete for water.
 

Mow Smart

Mowing is clearly the most common lawn care chore, but don’t be fooled—it’s also the most misunderstood. Believe it or not, mowing without purpose can damage your lawn beyond repair. For the summer, let your lawn grow tall initially to allow it to develop deep, strong roots. And when it’s time to cut it, don’t go too short. Set the mower’s height so that the grass is about 2-1/2 to 3 inches tall.

Water on a Schedule

Water_on_a_Schedule
Grass, like all living things, needs water to survive. To maintain that green color, lawns generally need 1 to 2 inches of water per week—either from you or from rainfall. Though watering lightly every day isn’t the ideal strategy in maintaining the lawn. A deep soaking once every three or four days is much more effective. It’s important to keep track of weekly rain patterns and adjust to a lack or an abundance of rainfall. Particularly in the summer months, you’ll want to water your grass when air temperatures are at their lowest and wind patterns are calm.

If you choose to use a sprinkler or have an irrigation system, make sure the amount of water accumulated is adequate. An easy way to test this to place a baking pan under a given sprinkler and track how long it takes for one inch of water to collect

However, be mindful of droughts in your area of the state before watering your lawn. If you live in dry climate, restrictions are most likely in place for the summer months.

 

Feed with Fertilizer

Though watering regularly is of the utmost importance, fertilizing your lawn is key to the early stages of upkeep. Fertilizer makes the grass greener and stronger because of its nutrients, with the most plentiful being nitrogen. For the summer, it’s generally recommended to use slow-release fertilizer rather than quick-release. Slow-release takes slightly longer to show results, but safeguards the grass from burn and the summer heat because of its “slow release” of nitrogen and other elements.

After applying the fertilizer, read the label directions to see how long it will take before you, your children, or pets can walk on the lawn. Stow the fertilizer out of reach of your young ones.

 

Let Clippings Fall

Unless you have a mower that collects your grass clippings in a bag, leave them to rest on the lawn. The clippings contain nutrients that will penetrate the soil to keep your lawn healthy, while limiting the amount of times to fertilize. Don’t cut off more than one-third of the overall height, or you’ll be leaving behind thick clippings, which are slow to decompose and can do more harm than good.

Grooming and maintaining a beautiful summer lawn requires consistent attention from you. But before you know it, that attention will turn, and it’ll be all on you and your property.

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