10 Essential Lawn Care Tips for Your Late Summer Home
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Now that the summer is getting away from us, your lawn is under attack from the hot summer sun, insects, and of course foot traffic from entertaining guests and kids playing. While the summer may be ending in a few months, your lawn still has many more months of looking beautiful. Whether you have a sprawling estate with extensive landscaping or you live in an urban neighborhood with more shrubbery than lawn, there are always lawn care tips that can help your outdoor home. Keep your curb appeal looking great and your lawn looking beautiful with these 10 tips to keep it looking fresh through the late summer season.
1. Assess your lawn type and geographic location:
Determine what type of lawn you have before you start reading up on what type of lawncare to perform. In many countries like the United States you can look at the Plant Zone for your state and municipality. This will help you determine what is the growing season for your lawn as well as shrubbery and landscaping. It will also show you information for watering, soil, and lighting requirements for your geographic location.
2. Look to your own lawn and landscaping for signs of distress:
Once you have determined your plant zone it is now time to look at the climate of your own lawn. Late summer usually means hotter sunrays for longer portions of the day. Monitor your grass to see if certain spots are lacking water or are getting attacked by seasonal bugs or even disease. Consider hiring a lawncare service in your area if you’re unfamiliar with local distress conditions your landscaping can endure. Shade trees, overhangs off of your home, and shade from your home could help plants that are in distress from the sun, while those that are not shielded should be hearty plants.
3. Don’t have a lawn? But prefer landscaping – here’s some tips:
For many homes, especially those in the suburbs or areas that have more hardscape than sprawling lawns – shrubbery and flowers are a great option to still soften your outdoor home with texture. Look to your local nurseries for plants that thrive in direct sun or in semi-shaded areas to plant closer to your home. Look for shrubbery that can withstand the climate year-around, not just the summer heat. This will ensure your plants will remain throughout the year. Flowering shrubbery is a great alternative to grass lawns, as they provide a different “show” of color through the entire year.
4. Get your soil tested if you’re concerned:
If you are noticing your lawn isn’t growing or behaving like your neighbors it could mean many factors. A lawn care service can perform a soil test or conduct other methods to improve your lawn. Your immediate soil around your home could be lacking the right nutrients, PH levels and other natural balances, required for healthy grass root development. Your soil could need aerating, cultivation on a periodic basis or loosening. This helps bring air into your soil and can help lawns that are need of increased growth stimulation and healthy nutrients.
5. Solve next season’s issues now, in the late summer
While you may not realize it your lawn goes through cycles and all of the work you do now, may not show its outcome until next season, if not next year. Therefore, prepare your later summer lawn in preparation for the seasons to come. Many late summer pests such as chinch bugs, mole crickets, and ants are common in very hot climates. Every homeowner has their own way of treating pests: chemicals, natural solutions and other remedies are common. Whichever you choose, take control at the first signs of problems. Brown spots, thinning grass and chewed blades of grass are signs of pests that can ruin your lawn for next season.
6. Choosing the right fertilizer for late summer lawns
Your late summer lawn needs different fertilizer than the fall or winter lawns. Depending on if you have are trying to build turf or you are in need of a fertilizer that will solve a particular problem will be dependent on your location, condition of your grass and other local factors. Visit your local nursery or home improvement store and take pictures of your lawn’s problem spots and they can help you find the right fertilizer for your outdoor home. A generic ‘weed and feed’ variety may be right for your neighbors, but you could need pest control – so seek advice before buying and spreading your fertilizer.
7. Rustic appeal for your landscaped outdoor home
For many homeowners who have a naturally landscaped theme around their home, a lawn may not be of concern. Wild flowers and shrubbery should still be trimmed and kept tidy to preserve a well-manicured look in your outdoor home. Determine if your outdoor home will have mulch and gravel beds closer to your home and wild flowers and shrubbery further away from your home. This will help you maintain the intent of your outdoor home, without having to run out and trim your plants constantly.
8. Ensure you are mowing your lawn correctly
While you may not think that mowing your lawn can have any effect on the growth of your grass or its health, think again. Mowing your lawn with a dull blade lawnmower can shred the tops of grass and leave it looking bad and unkept. Grass that is cut to low can result in too much sun reaching your lawns roots and cause it to burn. Similarly to a human with short hair not wearing a hat during direct sunrays – the same is true when cutting or “scalping” your grass too short. Ensure your lawnmower is set on the correct height setting for your lawn.
9. Excessive dead grass can result in unhealthy grass
If your lawn has dead grass that has accumulated in thickness, it could need dethatching or raking to remove the accumulated dead grass or “hay”. This will allow air and sunlight to reach down into your healthy grass to promote healthy growth stimulation. Consult a lawn service professional if you are unsure of how much thatch to remove. In the colder winter months, thatch can help protect the roots – so ensure you examine what stage your grass is in during the late summer season.
10. Your hands are often the best tools for your lawn
If you are experiencing occasional weeds around your late summer lawn, bend down and pull them by hand. Pulling up weeds from the root will remove the entire plant as opposed to mowing over them and just clipping off the heads. Your lawn will look much better if you walk through it several times a week and pull stray weeds, instead of solely relying on fertilizer and other chemical-based products.
Your lawn can look gorgeous this season – use these helpfulips for your late summer outdoor landscaping