Here in Des Moines, we are lucky enough to experience sunny summers that let us revel in all the attractions this vibrant city has to offer. Did you know that one of the best and most beautiful sights can be found right outside your door?
By taking a few simple steps toward maintaining a lush, healthy lawn, you will have a backyard oasis that can provide endless hours of entertainment. Follow these guidelines for a greener summer this year!
1. Mow Wisely
Don’t be a hero – you don’t need to pillage your lawn each time you mow. Instead, cut only a third of the grass blade when you mow the lawn. Grass that is shorter than three inches in height is more susceptible to heat damage and drought. It is also more likely to succumb to invasive weeds.
To make for a more effective mowing, sharpen the blades on your mower regularly. Sharpening should occur after every other cutting, but at least once a month. It is best if you aim to mow your lawn once or twice a week. Doing so will improve the color of your grass and also allow you to stay on top of tall blades. Try not to mow when wet, as it can cause grass clippings to clump up, resulting in brown or bare spots on your lawn.
2. Water Thoroughly
In most cases, your lawn will need about an inch of water per week (less if it’s rainy). A good rule of thumb is to water less often, but with more water, providing a deep soaking each time. This technique will moisten thirsty roots instead of merely lying on the surface of the soil.
If you find that you have trouble staying on top of a regular watering schedule, consider using an irrigation system instead. Most systems can be set up on a timer so that you don’t have to worry about a single thing.
3. Don’t Seed
Now is not the time to sow the bare spots on your lawn. Seeding should only occur during the spring and fall. Summer seeding will expose the young seedlings to high temperatures, and will likely kill them immediately.
4. Avoid Fertilization and Weed Control
It’s too hot to spray fertilizer and herbicide, because of its potential to burn your delicate grass’ roots. Instead, wait until fall to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for cool-season grasses, and in the spring for warm-season blends. Fertilizer can be implemented similarly.
5. Consider Aeration
Technically, spring is the best time to aerate your lawn, as you can relieve your compacted soil from a winter of traffic and heavy precipitation. However, core aeration can also be done in the summer if it seems like water, nutrients, and air aren’t making their way to the roots of your grass.
6. Watch Out for Insects
While summer is not the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide, you can use conventional herbicides to protect and treat infestations such as ants, sod webworms, and ticks. Summer is also an excellent time to be on the lookout for preventive strategies. For example, you should make sure any piles of debris, like branches or logs, are cleared from your lawn to prevent the creation of new insect habitats. Doing so will also help reduce the likelihood of disease.
7. Save Your Grass Clippings
What you produce as a result of mowing your lawn should not be considered waste. Instead of bagging and tossing your grass clippings, save them and redistribute them across the yard, or add them to your compost. Cut blades of grass can supply your soil with an extra boost of nutrients.
Need additional help? Visit our Des Moines lawn care page for more info!
Feature image source: Zillow.com