We all want to have a luscious lawn in the summertime to relax and unwind, but we do need to help it along the way by taking care of it throughout the year. We have highlighted a few common issues along with solutions, so your lawn will stay healthy and beautiful to look at all year round.
Mowing your lawn is something that should be done all year round. Depending on the kind of grass present in your yard, you should adjust your mower height accordingly. You don’t want to cut wet grass, but it is good to get the mower out whenever there is a dry spell, even in wintertime.
In the summertime, you should keep your mowing height a little bit higher, due to the increased temperatures, this allows the top layer to absorb the sun’s rays while preserving the moisture underneath. In preparation for the colder months, you should set the height of the mower lower, as this will prepare the lawn for winter when growth will be lessened due to the decreased temperatures and the general lack of sunlight during the period.
Throughout the year, there is a very good chance that you might experience yellowing of your lawn, be it in patches or all over. There are a few causes for this condition, but all can be remedied with a few simple steps. If you own a dog, you may find that you get yellow spots when they urinate in the summertime (thanks to urine that is high in nitrogen).
You can fix this by watering the spot after urination or, ideally, encouraging your dog to use another place. The other two causes of yellow spots are over fertilization and under fertilization. The reason, generally, is either too much nitrogen or too little. A good way to combat this is to leave the grass cuttings on the lawn as this will give the lawn just enough to thrive.
Like any living organism, your grass needs water to thrive, but too much can be just as bad as too little. You want to water it so that the top inch of soil under the grass is moist as your lawn will suck up moisture from there.
In the warm months, you may find you get a hard crust on the soil if you haven’t been watering enough, so this is an excellent indicator to increase the watering schedule. Never water so much that you start to get pools forming on the lawn as this will drown your grass and cause dead spots. Additionally, during the summer months, you want to make sure never to water during the day, as the ideal timing is in the early morning or late afternoon – outside of the hottest period of the day.
You can get specific lawn fertilizers which are eco-friendly and give your grass just the right amount of nutrients to stay healthy. Another way is to leave the cuttings on top when you mow as this will replace nutrients into the soil as it decomposes.
Another way is to create a mulch pile where you put grass cuttings, dead leaves, and organic food waste and spread this evenly and accordingly. The trick is to maintain an even spread as you want the grass to stay uniform throughout.
Grass needs air the same way as we do, but it can be hard for your lawn to breathe when the soil is too compacted. The best way to make sure your lawn is getting a good supply of air is to aerate it with an aerator which punches little holes into the soil in much the same way as we use a pitchfork.
If you don’t have an aerator, you can use a fork (it just takes a lot more time), and you need to be careful not to lift the top layer as you would do when turning the soil in a flower bed. You should only need to aerate the lawn a few times during the year, ideally during springtime and the fall.
Pests typically start to intrude on your lawn when you water in the evening so try to water early in the morning as the sun will dry out the grass before the pests get a foothold. You can use pest control chemicals, but by watering correctly, you will not need to.
Thatching is another common lawn issue and is where a layer of thatch covers the soil stopping nutrients and water from reaching the grass. The best way to dethatch is to use a leaf rake and lightly go over the lawn, and this will break up any thatching, allowing the lawn to get most of the nutrients it needs to grow. Dethatching should be done in the springtime and the fall to keep the lawn healthy throughout the year.
The trick to having a beautiful lawn is to stay consistent with maintenance. The grass needs air, water, food, and sunlight to thrive, so make sure each step you take is working to meet that goal. Don’t leave toys lying around and pick up any debris that might have landed during adverse weather conditions. Taking into account our suggestions and keeping on top of the required maintenance will ensure you have a healthy, green lawn throughout the year.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.
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