Keeping your grass looking beautiful this summer means more than just mowing your lawn once a week. These tips can make your yard the envy of your neighborhood.
Lawn Care Guide for the Summer
- Aeration. The critical factor for deciding when to aerate your grass isn’t based on the season but on which type of grass you have. Many homeowners in the Salem area have a mixture of cool weather grass varietals such as Perennial Rye Grass and RTF. To get the best results from these cool weather grasses, lawn care experts suggest holding off on aeration during the hottest months of the year. But on the other hand, if you chose to plant warm weather grasses such as Bermuda, Buffalo, or Carpetgrass, your lawn will significantly benefit from aeration. Try starting now and continuing throughout the summer months. Remember to avoid aeration for any areas of grass seeded less than 12 months ago or during periods of extreme heat and droughts.
- Fertilizing. Just like aeration, when and how much to fertilize your yard depends on the grass you chose to plant. It is best to research your specific grass type before applying any fertilizers because your goal is to use the least amount of fertilization possible. Besides the grass varietal, the age of your lawn matters. Newer lawns can require as much as six times the amount of fertilizer than those which are better established. Remember to choose a fertilizer which addresses the unique needs of your grass and soil. Most kinds of grass need higher levels of nitrogen (N), and much lower levels of both phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). A soil test every 3 to 5 years can help you to purchase the right fertilizer for your yard’s conditions.
- Mowing. Cutting the grass is not a job to take lightly. Besides giving your landscape a more tidy appearance, trimming the grass helps to control weeds and can stimulate the growth of grass for a thicker, healthier lawn. While ultimately it is up to you how tall you want to allow your grass to get, each varietal of grass does have its own ideal height between 1 and 4 inches. Once you decide on the height of the lawn you desire, never allow it to grow more than an inch higher to avoid scalping and the creation of brown patches. You can expect to mow your lawn at least once a week during the summer months.
- Watering. Your lawn needs about one inch of water a week to thrive during moderate temperatures. Salem’s higher than average rainfall means that for most weeks during the summer, you should be able to get by with just supplemental watering. To prevent evaporation and reduce water use, it is a good idea to do your watering in the early morning. This will allow the roots of the grass to soak up the water before dissipates. To conserve water and reduce the time necessary for lawn care, you may want to install sprinklers or in-ground irrigation.