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Caring for your lawn does not have to be difficult. With some tender loving care you can keep your lawn in tip-top shape. The keys to a healthy lawn during the summer months are to water it at the right time, feed it sufficiently, and take proper care when trimming it. Lawn care is really simple as long as you know the secrets and stick to them!
The Watering Effect
As with any plant, if you forget to water your lawn, it will fail to thrive. A healthy lawn should receive a good amount of water every week. It is recommended that a lawn be watered about an inch of water per week, depending on the average temperature of your climate. This amount of water weekly will encourage the grass roots to dig deeper and grow stronger.
When watering your lawn, it is best to do so first thing in the morning, when the sun is coming up. If you choose to water your lawn during the day, with the hot sun beating down, you risk actually burning the grass. During the day, water evaporates quite quickly as well, so the roots may not even get any water at all. However, if temperatures get extremely high, you may want to do a quick sprinkle, just to relieve some of the heat stress. Many choose to water in the evening, but this may cause fungus to grow on your lawn, which you don’t want.
Feeding the Grass and Starving the Weeds
Proper lawn care requires sufficient feeding, so a slow release organic lawn fertilizer is the best choice. However, proper caution should be taken when applying any fertilizer during the hot summer months, as too much can actually burn and damage the grass. It is best to fertilize in the spring or fall if possible for best results. Also, because the summer allows more weeds and dandelions to sprout up, spot check the lawn on a regular basis. Don’t go crazy – simply spot spray any unwanted sprouts throughout the week.
Mowing, Mowing, and More Mowing
During the summer, your lawn will seem like its growing endlessly, and you may need to mow it more often - usually every 10 days is sufficient. Consider, however, mowing it a bit higher when the weather is warm to help with drought resistance. The ideal summer grass height is between 3 ½ and 4 inches. The longer blade length allows for not only more drought-tolerant roots but increases the grass’ food producing capabilities. Additionally, it discourages weeds from growing. As you mow the lawn, allow some of the clippings from the cutting to remain, to add to the benefits of the fertilizer.
Caring for Your Lawn Mower Means Caring for your Lawn
The lawn mower is an important instrument when it comes to proper lawn care and maintenance. The machine is not only an investment, but a tool to keep your landscaping as lush as ever. Just as you would with your car, give your lawn mower regular tune-ups and always check the battery, fuel lines, spark plugs, and oil. If anything seems out of place, loose, or deteriorating give it an update. Leaking fuel and oil can damage your lawn.
The blades, for a push or riding mower, should never be neglected. Many landscapers and lawn lovers keep an extra set of blades in the garage or shed. As you approach summer, make sure to give the blades a good sharpening. Dull blades can reduce the fuel efficiency of your lawn mower and damage the grass itself.
When it comes to lawn care this summer, just remember to take care of the basics. Make sure it is properly watered, fertilize only as necessary, and mow it regularly and correctly. With these three things in mind, you will have plenty of time to sit and admire your beautiful landscape.
~Ben Anton, 2009Summer Lawn Care Advice