How to Prepare Your Lawn for Summer
Last updated: 5/14/2021
Estimated read time: 5 minutes
Spring and summer months are your lawn’s seasons to shine. But just because conditions are conducive to growing doesn’t mean that you can just leave your grass alone. Keep reading for a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get a healthy, vibrant lawn in the coming seasons.
Mow your yard—correctly
It’s easy to overlook, but mowing your lawn correctly is one of the most effective steps you can take to set your lawn up for a successful growing season. To do this, make sure to:
- Avoid mowing when your lawn is wet or at the hottest times of day.
- Set your lawn mower’s blades between 3 ½ and 4 ½ inches as mowing your lawn too short can negatively impact its health, leaving it vulnerable to disease and fungus.
- Mow your lawn more often than you would during other times of year, removing roughly ⅓ of the grass’s overall height each time.
- Maintain sharp mower blades to ensure clean cuts and to avoid them pulling on the grass during mowing.
- Spread out grass clippings to provide extra shade and to avoid excess moisture in any one area.
Aerate to remove thatch buildup
Proper lawn aeration before summertime is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your lawn’s health. In addition to increasing your lawn’s access to water and nutrients, aerating removes thatch from the base of your grass’s stems. Thatch is a layer of dead and decaying organic material, which can inhibit new growth and restrict soil oxygen. Ridding your lawn of this encourages new, healthy growth.
Additionally, you can always aerate your lawn in the fall if you aren’t ready for it in the springtime—but you need to be mindful of the windows in which to do this for optimal results! In the spring, it’s best to aerate between the months of March and May. In the fall, the best time to aerate is between the late summer and early fall.
Reseed to promote grass growth
During fall and winter, it’s not uncommon for a significant portion of your existing grass to die off, so refreshing your lawn with new seed will offset any losses. Skipping this step will result in a thin, unhealthy looking lawn, even during the height of the growing season. If you choose to aerate your lawn with Blades of Green, you’ll also receive a new batch of seed to provide your lawn with a jolt of fresh growth. This way, you can replace any dead grass blades and increase your lawn’s fullness come springtime.
Remove weeds from your yard
Most yard weeds are aggressive and resource-intensive. Left alone, they can easily outcompete your grass once the warm weather kicks in. By removing nuisance weeds from your lawn, you are eliminating your grass’s chief competitor for resources. In addition to simply pulling them up, there are preventive measures you can take to stop weeds from growing in the first place, including:
- Mulch prevents fledgling weeds from accessing sunlight.
- Corn gluten which dries out roots, making it impossible for weeds to access water and nutrients.
- Horticultural vinegars that contain around 20% acid by volume are effective weed killers, but can be equally harmful to grasses and other plants.
- Chemical herbicides are the most effective means of weed control and prevention but also aren’t picky about what they kill. To use these to their greatest potential while keeping other plants safe, have them applied by a lawn care professional.
Irrigate or water your lawn correctly
Unsurprisingly, proper lawn irrigation is critical to ensuring healthy growth regardless of the season. However, not all watering is the same. There are rules we like to follow for spring and summer irrigation, including:
- Watering early in the mornings 2-3 times a week for 45 minutes at a time.
- Avoiding watering at the hottest or most humid times of day.
- Keeping a consistent watering schedule.
Use Tuna Cans to Check if You’re Watering Correctly!
Pro tip! To get an idea of how long you should leave your sprinklers running, lay a few empty tuna cans on your lawn, run the sprinklers, and time how long it takes until there’s an inch of water in each can. By filling the tuna can entirely, your lawn will get sufficient moisture into the root.
Lime your lawn, if necessary
Sometimes aeration and irrigation aren’t enough. In cases like these, it’s time to bring out the chemical agents—specifically lime in this case. Lime treatment balances soil acidity which leads to a more comfortable growing environment for grasses and other plants. Increased acid levels in your soil can be caused by a number of factors including nitrogen-based fertilizers, sulfuric water, or even compost.
Liming a lawn should only be completed by a professional lawn care company—this is because they run a full diagnostic test on your lawn, much like a doctor does for their patients. With Blades of Green, we perform an annual soil test in order to create a truly custom plan that helps your lawn thrive.
Inspect your lawn for fungus or disease
Fungi and diseases are the bane of any lawn, but fortunately, they leave behind some fairly obvious signs. Lawn fungi and diseases often cause areas of dead-looking grass, discolored or splotchy stems, or threadlike growths. While there are some DIY ways to get rid of lawn fungus, there are few lawn ailments that can only be treated by a professional. That said, timing is everything. So the moment you notice the signs of lawn disease or fungus, let one of our lawn care technicians know right away!
Have a Question About Lawn Care? Ask the Experts!
Having a lawn care problem that you can’t seem to solve? Send your question to our expert technicians and get the answers you need to get a healthy, beautiful lawn.Ask a Lawn Care Question
Hire a professional
Most basic lawn maintenance can be done yourself, assuming you want to invest the time and effort. Caring for a lawn is a significant undertaking so if you’re short on extra time, hiring a professional like Blades of Green is exactly what you need. This goes double for battling lawn disease, fungus, or excessive weeds where an experienced hand is needed to restore your lawn’s health. Before we get started, our team will conduct a thorough lawn analysis to determine exactly how we can help and areas in which your lawn can improve. Our pros are ready to go to work in your yard whenever you need them, so don’t wait to get started!
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