Whether you’re heading to the pool, inviting friends and family over to barbecue or taking a much-needed vacation, summertime is a highlight for many of us.
Summer is the time for vacations, backyard barbecues and enjoying the great outdoors, along with gardening (fun) and taking care of the lawn (not as much fun). Here are five tips to help your plants and grass thrive throughout the summer and beyond.
1. Stay on top of weeds
Nobody likes weeding, but this tedious task will be easier if you pull weeds while they’re small and when the ground is damp. Left unchecked, fast-growing weeds will steal water and nutrients from your plants and can encourage insects and diseases to pop up in your garden.
2. Water early … and often
The hot summer sun dries out soil quickly, so if it’s not raining enough, you need to water your plants and lawn more frequently. Early morning is the best time to water, so the soil has time to soak up moisture before the midday sun evaporates it. Perennial plants and shrubs need about one to two inches of water a week.
3. Remove dead flowers from plants
Get the most out of your garden flowers by regularly removing faded or dead flowers, known as deadheading. The payoff? Most annuals, such as petunias, zinnias and marigolds, and many perennials will continue to bloom all summer long.
4. Don’t cut your lawn too short
Avoid cutting your grass too short in an effort to extend the time between mowings. “Scalping” a lawn leaves it prone to weeds, insects and diseases. Instead, mow your lawn as high as your mower permits. Longer turf not only suppresses weeds, but ultimately will result in a healthier, more attractive lawn.
5. Avoid over-fertilizing grass
More is not always better! Too much fertilizer can cause severe dehydration that could kill your lawn, or cause grass to grow too quickly, making it hard to keep up with mowing. The best strategy: Schedule fertilizing around holidays – Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Halloween. Four times a year is all a lawn really needs.
Stay on top of your yard with these five tips, and you’ll have a beautiful yard to enjoy all summer long.