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7 Essential Lawn Maintenance Tips for a Hot Summer

Having a well-kept, lush, and green lawn is an accomplishment to take pride in. The serene feeling of seeing a pristinely kept green rug that’s sprawling beneath your feet is one of life’s little joys. Such an accomplishment does not fall from the sky, and there is some elbow grease involved. Practical know-how, tips&tricks and proper tools of the trade make for an impressive result. Putting all these resources to work will produce wonders that you shall admire every day. Slouching back in your garden chair and being marveled by that green terrain will come sooner than you think. Without further ado, let us get started.

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Source: Unsplash

1. Proper grass cutting

Many would-be grass landscapers tend to overdo it in all departments. Yes, lawn mowing is important to be healthy, vitality, and appearance, but the question is “How much?”. Cutting the grass to the ground will destroy or greatly hinder its progression and growth. When you drastically move the lawn, you are making it that much harder for the grass to grow back. Ideally, you should look for anything from thirty to fifty percent when mowing the lawn. 

To achieve this, you will also need a sharpened mowing blade. A dulled-out blade causes more damage than good and makes grass cutting harder and more in-precise. Sharpening it every once in a while goes hand in hand with land mower maintenance. Tools of the trade and preparation are needed for success, from lawn mowing to all things in life.

2. Grass supplements

Getting your dirt analyzed is the necessary first step, that’s associated with lawns that look like they came out of a magazine. Specialists can then tell you what minerals your soil is lacking and where to go from that point. Besides water, nutrients and fertilizers, are also needed for a beautiful grass carpet. In this department, overdoing it is the same as not doing anything. Fertilizer bags and supplements have their ratios, which means how much of them you should apply to a certain area. 

More is not better, and pouring a whole bag into a small space will not miraculously produce super grass that will grow overnight. Think of it this way. When you are hungry, you can eat a meal or two. But gorging on the entire truck does more harm than good. Now, apply the same principle when adding supplements and fertilizer. One good way to have a closed eco circle is to consider composting for your lawn. 

Mowing the grass and cutting foliage produces green waste. One that you should not throw out but utilize in composting, as you are creating your own fertilise from your very own plants. That way, you are returning what your garden produced and keeping the circle going.

3. Timed watering

By now, you should’ve realised that excessive amounts of anything are bad for your garden and that moderation equals success. Turning your lawn into a pond with overwatering only attracts mosquitos and other pests. Likewise, a slight sprinkle that only dampens the dirt is like asking a hungry man for food. Your garden needs water, but when you water it makes all the difference. Early in the morning, or at dusk are ideal times for you to start. 

That way, you will avoid the heat wave, making the activity more enjoyable for you, and you will water while the ground is not scorching hot. For watering, you can use anything from a garden hose, drip hoses, regular and timed sprinklers and other methods that exist to make your job easier. Should you water your garden at noon or during high temperatures, you are only shocking your grass, and its roots as most of the water will evaporate, and the intense heat coupled with the water that’s almost a contrast causes great damage to the grass’s health. 

By beginning or ending your day with watering, you are preserving water (as you will need less of it), making it easier for your lawn to absorb it, and you are avoiding excessive heat that comes during the midday. Planning is half the battle, and you can make time work for you.

4. Pest control

Pesky pests are there to ruin your day. Creepy crawlers like fire ants, chinch bugs, grub worms, mole crickets, billbugs and spittlebugs can wreak havoc on any lawn and turn it into a desolate place. The first step is identifying what pest you are dealing with, or if there are more of them. Each pest brings with it its symptoms and from insect to insect. 

For example, signs of a chinch bug infestation include a spotty pattern of patchy grass that almost looks like drought damage. When you are properly watering but still noticing such signs, that’s when you need to act. An easy method to spot a grub worm problem is by seeing an increase in burrowing mammals, like moles, that love feeding on them.

Time also plays a role, and June is about the time to apply a preventative insecticide for grub worms. We can go on and on but doing a quick internet search or reaching out to your specialised retailer can help you to find the right treatment for your pest problems. Always be sure to read the label thoroughly before application.

5. Disease management

On the other side of the danger spectrum, are the herbal threat, or weeds and grass disease. Fescues and bluegrass are the main suspects that you should keep an eye out for. Be sure to spot treat each weed or consider hand-pulling them instead. Summer is the worst time for herbicide applications for most grass types as herbicides compared with excessive heat will only damage your grass. Always know that manual, hand pruning and weed control can do better than any product. 

When you hand pick and de-weed your lawn, you are doing it at an individual and exact level that allows for full control. Should the situation call for, sometimes professional treatment is required. When that’s the case we always recommend waiting for the ground and temperature to cool down before applying a post-emergent herbicide to any weeds in your yard. Preparation and prevention are important to your health, and the same logic applies to your lawn. 

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring to reduce summer weeds, and be sure to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall to keep fall and winter weeds out. Knowing your enemy is the other half of the battle, and there are seasonal diseases that you should keep an eye out for during some periods. During the summer they are knotweed, spurge, lespedeza, crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, nutsedge and sandspur.

When we mentioned over-watering, we did it because of pests, but that can also cause diseases to grow. Diseases like: Zoysia, St. Augustine, bermudagrass or centipede grass, all happen when you overwater your lawn during the summer.

6. De-clutter

There is nothing worse for grass than being smothered by various items. Umbrellas and umbrella stands, inflatable or montage pools, benches, and other items that usually get dusted from the garage during the summer period are the worst offenders here. These items do way more damage to your lawn than anything else as they press, smother and deprive your grass of sunlight. 

While we understand the appeal and functionality of them, try to keep them on their dedicated cement or plate surfaces, so that they don’t impede your lawn progress. Any of these items can easily sit on the spot for a minimum of three or four months. During that time, all the grass beneath is starving for air, sunlight and water. All three of which are crucial for its growth and progress. Not to mention the very space and room above, which you will notice once you remove or move these items. 

Recovering and rejuvenating those brown patches takes more time and effort than regular grass, with a high chance that you may not succeed. Try to think of it as spoiling all of your progress. You tend and care for your lawn all year only for it to be smothered by a couple of months of negligence. Doesn’t seem so worthy now, does it?

7. Don’t overstep your welcome

Rugby fields, football terrains and tennis courts are what you should try to imagine. They all get plenty of foot traffic, wear and tear alongside some ruff action. Naturally, your grassy lawn will see less of these, unless you plan to host the Australian Open. On a more serious note, once you have done all the leg work, with fertilising, cutting, watering and de-posting it’s now time to let your lawn breathe and grow. Its needs time for this as wonders rarely happen overnight in the real world.

After you have done all, you can, try your best to minimise stepping on your lawn, at least until it recovers or shows signs of improvement. The grass is delicate despite what others may tell you, and giving it some alone time can do wonders for your lawn. Your lawn needs time to grow strong and cement its position so that it can withstand anything the world may throw at it. In the long run, your lawn will more than payback for the care and protection you provided. Once it grows and strengthens, you can continue your daily routine, a few things can impede a strong and well-kept lawn.

 

Making any changes to your surroundings always comes off as frightening before you start. Many people are under the impression that they are faced with a mountain of unknowns and perils. Nothing can be further from the truth, as any change is better than none. Bit by bit, step by step and you will be able to see physical changes and progress on your lawn. These will manifest as beautiful fruits of your labour, once that you will be able to enjoy for years to come. All you need to do is take that first step and take a proactive approach to your lawn care. Sooner than you know it, you will be able to slouch back and enjoy your favourite drink as you gaze upon your green success. We wish you all the best.

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