During the summer months, your lawn requires more lawn care and maintenance than at any other time of the year. Not surprisingly, this can present problems for time-strapped homeowners. After all, if work commitments, family responsibilities and social obligations are eating up your waking hours, there may be little choice but to put lawn care on the backburner. Fortunately, keeping your lawn healthy and thriving throughout the summer season doesn’t have to be a drain on your time. As you’ll find out, a little bit of knowledge and follow-through can go a long way when it comes to summertime lawn maintenance and home gardening.
For some homeowners, there’s no such thing as too much water. The way these people figure it, the more water grass receives, the healthier it will be. While this line of thinking is somewhat understandable, it’s also woefully misguided. Overwatering stands to damage your lawn in the short term and compromise its long-term health. For starters, the more water you give your grass, the more dependent it will become on receiving large amounts of water. This can be particularly damaging for grass found in dry areas or parts of the country that regularly contend with drought conditions.
Additionally, instead of daily watering, it’s recommended that you provide two or three deep watering sessions per week for optimum lawn maintenance and home gardening. Daily watering stands to give your lawn a shallow root system, which is liable to dry out quickly and significantly weaken your turf. The average lawn care needs between 1 and 1.5” of water per week, and three 20-minute watering sessions should be enough to provide that. For best results, watering sessions should be carried out during the early morning hours. Lawns that are consistently wet during the overnight hours often fall victim to fungus, and this approach helps ensure that your grass will be dry by nightfall.
If this sounds like too much of a time commitment, consider investing in an automatic sprinkler system. In addition to saving time, this will ensure your lawn receives the exact amount of water it needs exactly when it needs it. Conversely, if you live an area that receives heavy rainfall throughout the summer, you may not need to provide your lawn with any additional water, as doing so is not only a waste of time, but also a detriment to the lawn’s health and garden care.
Keep an Eye out for Weeds
Many homeowners have come to regard weeds as an unavoidable fact of life. Sure, they negatively impact the appearance of picturesque lawns, but they’re just another form of plant life, so why bother going out of one’s way to deal with them? Although there’s a little bit of truth to this logic, allowing weeds to thrive can have a substantial impact on the long-term health of your lawn and garden maintenance. For example, as a separate form of plant life, weeds actively compete with grass for water, air and nutrients. Over time, this can leave lawns malnourished and ill-equipped to weather drought conditions or fight off disease or insect infestation. Additionally, if left to their own devices, weeds can overtake a healthy lawn in a relatively short span of time.
With this in mind, it’s in the best interest of every homeowner to remain on the lookout for weeds. Fortunately for time-strapped individuals, this doesn’t have to entail going over your lawn with a fine-toothed comb on a daily basis. More often than not, giving your grass a quick once-over while administering water is more than enough to spot any weeds that are cropping up. Should you happen to come upon any, take care to pull them out at the root, as this will inhibit future growth. If caught early, weeds are fairly easy to deal with. However, if allowed to prosper, getting rid of them long-term can present a number of challenges.
Aided by agreeable weather, ample sunlight and plenty of water, grass grows at a rapid pace throughout the summer months. In fact, in some areas, it’s not unusual for homeowners to administer multiple mowings per week. It isn’t hard to see why so many people favor perpetually short lawns. The crop-top look gives off a tidy, orderly appearance and shows passersby how seriously a household takes lawn maintenance.
Many golf courses and businesses keep their grass meticulously short, but this grass receives a much higher level of maintenance than many non-professionals are able or willing to administer. Most residential lawns should be mowed no more than once a week and be kept at a length of 3”. For many grasses, this is the ideal length for soaking in water, sunlight and assorted nutrients. Garden grass that’s been cut as short as possible may look good, but it’s a nightmare to maintain.
If staying on top of weekly mowings and keeping track of blade length is too cumbersome for you, consider enlisting the aid of a professional lawn care service. In addition to mowing your lawn as needed, many of these services will tend to every other facet of care your grass requires. Furthermore, the right service will be able to provide you with practical lawn care tips.
Use a Slow-Release Fertilizer
When selecting a suitable fertilizer for your garden care, there are many benefits to going the slow-release route. As the name suggests, this variety of fertilizer is slow-acting and releases its nutrients over time instead of all at once. This is conducive to consistent nourishment and stable growth. Fertilizing less often and providing your lawn with the nutrients is ideal for excellent lawn care.
Not all of us have copious amounts of free time to devote to the pursuit of lawn maintenance. While a lack of leisure time may strike you as a hindrance to lawn care, this doesn’t have to be the case – provided, of course, you’re armed with the right knowledge. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with devoting a sizable chunk of your time to lawn care, this level of devotion is often unnecessary. Putting the previously discussed pointers to good use can ensure that your lawn thrives all summer long and that your leisure time remains uncompromised.