Summer means days spent running through the sprinkler, nights around a fire and lots of family fun time in between. When spring hits and you know that hot days are ahead, it's time to start getting your lawn ready for all the fun that is to come. Lush green grass and lots of colorful blooms are the necessary base to the yard of your dreams. Here are six steps to help you get your lawn looking its best when summer finally arrives.
1. Clear Debris
Start by taking a walk around your yard and removing debris. Winter winds and heavy snow can bring down branches and twigs or even carry litter into your yard. Don't forget to check close to your home's foundation, under and around your deck and in flower beds for waste or tree scraps that have accumulated. While you stroll the yard, be sure to inspect for any issues that may require lawn treatment experts down the road.
Your lawn can't grow lush and green without a little help from mother nature. In order for water, oxygen and nutrients to reach the roots of your grass, it is important to aerate before summer begins. When the hot sun and dry weather hit, your oxygenated grass will be able to thrive much more efficiently. There are a variety of ways to aerate your lawn. It is best to do it a short time after rain has hit so the ground is softer and easier to puncture. If your yard is small, you can use a pitchfork, or even lawn aerator shoes to poke holes throughout your grass. For larger yards, you can invest in or rent an aerator that attaches to your riding lawn mower.
3. Rake Thatch
Thatch is a layer of organic debris that surrounds the roots of your grass. A small layer can be beneficial to your lawn. It helps soil to stay put and holds moisture in. However, a thick layer can prevent water and fertilizer from reaching your grass and attract pests and disease. Removing excess thatch from your lawn will make for easier mowing and help it grow healthier. You can remove it by using a heavy, short-tined rake that will pull up the thatch without damaging the roots of your grass.
4. Fertilize and Reseed
Fertilizer supplements your soil to ensure that your grass receives all the nutrients it needs to grow green and full. Proper fertilization will depend on the type of grass in your yard. Do some research to determine what type of grass you have. You should apply fertilizer at least twice during the peak growing season for the type of grass you have. Reseed any bare areas, preferably before the growing season begins.
If your yard has a sprinkler system, get it set up and ready to thoroughly and consistently water your lawn. If you don't have an in-ground system, set up your own system with some hoses and sprinklers to ensure that you can water at least once a day. It is best to water at night or early in the morning before the hot sun comes out. This way the water will reach the roots of your grass without being evaporated in the heat. Make sure your sprinklers are set up to move in smooth sweeping motions, to ensure that water is distributed evenly and to avoid runoff.
Once you've got your yard looking its best, it is important to properly maintain it throughout the summer. As the weather heats up, it can wreak havoc on your grass. Try to mow about once a week, with the goal of keeping your lawn to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches long. Once it gets very hot, you can allow it to grow about a half-inch longer to help provide shade to its roots.
These steps can help you make your lawn a place where you and the whole family gather to have fun and make summer memories.