In Portland, your unicycling neighbor may have choices in transportation and lifestyle that differ from you. But no one chooses to have a brown or patchy lawn. Fortunately, we have tips to keep your yard green.
One of the changes most home owners have made is the introduction of grasses that tolerate droughts and require less fertilizer. Most homeowners are learning to grow grass that doesn’t take too much energy, time or money. You can grow grass in Portland, Oregon, a task more easily managed than planting traditional grass.
Whatever grass you decide to plant in your yard, lawn tips for the summer heat can be helpful. For example, don’t remove more than one-third of your grass at a time. If your grass is about three inches high, then you would only need to cut it about one inch. If you cut it by more than one third, then it will weaken your lawn. When your lawn is weakened, it becomes more vulnerable to disease and weeds. Two inches is the perfect height for most grass types. By mowing every other week or so in the summer and leaving the clippings lay, your grass will be resupplied with much-needed nitrogen.
Another tip is to keep the blades of your lawn mower sharp—at least once a year they need to be changed. A sharp mower cuts a clean lawn. If you don’t have sharp blades, your grass will rip and tear. As a result, your lawn will become unhealthy and lead to more weeds and pests.
Another consideration in the summer is how much to water in the summer. But, overwatering is worse than underwatering. If you are concerned about how your lawn needs to be watered, take a 6-inch screwdriver and push it into the dirt. If it slides in easily, then you don’t need to water. But if it’s hard to push in, then go ahead and hydrate your lawn.
The recommendation used to be about one inch of water per week. But experts now say you shouldn’t pour more than 2/10th of an inch of water at one time. If you apply more than that, then the water either drains off or drains through.
If the summer heat is intense, then begin with 1/10 of an inch five days a week, and, if you do 2/10th of an inch, then water three times a week. Plus, to measure the length of time if takes to reach that amount, you can use a rain gauge, a plastic cup or a tuna cup to measure how much water is being used.
Over-fertilizing will weaken your lawn because it grows the grass but not the roots. This will also cause weeds to run rampant in your yard, causing a whole other issue. It’s best to only fertilize in the spring and fall.
For reseeding, you can do it by filling in holes and ugly brown spots. Just make sure you pour enough water so the seed is pushed into the soil.
Another option in the summer is allowing your lawn to go dormant. It will turn brown, but when it rains again, the grass will grow and recover green. If you don’t like seeing a brown lawn, then plant drought-tolerant grass, like buffalo grass, and pour an inch of water once a week.
If you have shady areas where nothing grows, the newest breed of grass seed known as micro clover is an option. It’s a dwarf clover with a dainty appearance and can be mixed with grasses.
Knowing what to expect of your grass in the summer is the first step to a healthy lawn.
Need help preparing your lawn for summer? Visit our Portland lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Portland, we provide lawn care services in Northwest cities including Seattle and Spokane.