Lawn care in summer is always a challenge. Those that live in the northeast must contend with a variety of severe weather and problems including heavy rain, drought, insects, and humidity. Not keeping up with a strict lawn care regiment in summer can lead to dying grass, disease, and insect infestations. Welcome to our new website where we hope to share important landscaping tips with you each week. This week we will focus on the dos and don’ts of summer landscaping.
The Dos and Don’ts of Summer Landscaping
Do: Use drought-tolerant plants.
Drought tolerant plants are all the rage right now for two reasons: they conserve water and they are low maintenance. The northeast has been experiencing drier summers each year, so drought-tolerant plants are more likely to survive. Just remember that even drought-tolerant plants still need a little TLC when before they become established. Keep the soil moist until the plant takes off on its own. Usually, mulch is an easy way to keep the soil moist.
Don’t: Water unless it is necessary.
Combined with heat and humidity, excessive moisture can lead to breeding ground for fungal diseases. A good rule of thumb is to provide grass with 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week from irrigation or rainfall. Most landscape professionals go by the advice of water infrequently but deeply during the summer. It also important to remember to water either early in the morning or in the early evening. Watering too late can cause the moisture to evaporate before it hits the roots. Sun reflection can also scald the wet grass.
Do: Continue to mow.
Keep mowing regularly but make sure you are mowing with a sharp blade. Using a dull blade can fray grass tips which can increase the likelihood that your lawn will be more susceptible to disease and pests. Adjusting the blade height to be higher will also keep the grass healthier. If your lawn has cool-season grasses, don’t mow them on excessively hot days. Cool-season grasses are more sensitive to damage in hot weather.
Don’t: Let insects make themselves at home in your yard.
With summer comes harmful lawn pests. Grubs, Chinch Bugs, Webworms, Ticks, and Mosquitoes can all harm your lawn as well as your family. Many of these insects destroy grass roots and plants but ticks and mosquitoes can make things worse by biting you and giving you illnesses such as Lyme Disease or worse, West Nile Virus. Start your summer insect prevention plan early by pretreating your lawn with an insecticide. Remove standing water to lessen the mosquito population and keep your grass trimmed to prevent ticks. Getting rid of brush piles can also lessen the chance of the insects having a chance to hide and breed in them.