Summer is the season where you will want to enjoy the outdoors, and this means enjoying the sunlight on the lawn. This is why you need to know what steps to take to ensure that your lawn is ready for the long hot summer months. There are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that your lawn is ready and will be able to survive the summer.
Clear The Leaves And Debris
The first step that you need to take to get your lawn ready is to clear the leaves and debris. While you are able to leave the leaves when you head into fall, during summer this will deprive your grass of the sunlight that it needs. The lack of sunlight will make it harder for your grass to sprout and grow which is something that you want to avoid.
The start of summer is a great time to get the rake out and remove the leaves and thatch. You should rake your lawn from one end to the other to ensure that you remove as much of this debris as possible. Of course, you should not rake too hard as you can damage your lawn, and this will also make it hard for the grass to grow.
The leaves that you collect at this time can be used for compost. You can also create mulch from the leaves with a mulching kit or your lawn mower. The mulch can then be used to feed your lawn and other plants throughout the summer reducing the amount of fertilizing you will need to do.
Aerate Your Lawn
The root system of your grass will also need to be taken care of before the heart of summer. Grass root systems can often be thick and a mess below the surface. If you do not take care of the root system, your grass could suffocate itself the roots are not able to breathe, and water is not able to reach them. When you aerate your lawn, you will also be creating more space for new roots to grow.
Aeration of the lawn is actually very simple and requires you to puncture holes into the soil. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the tools that you have on hand. If you have a small amount of lawn, you can use a garden fork or aerating shoes. However, if you have a larger area of lawn, you might want to get a larger aerator.
It is important to note that you should not actually aerate your lawn every summer. Experts state that you should do this every 1 to 3 years. Of course, the need to aerate will vary depending on your grass and you need to consider this.
Fill In The Gaps
After aerating the soil, you will need to look at filling in the gaps in your lawn. If you have any bald spots in the lawn, you should plant some seeds to prepare it. The seeds that you use should be the same as the rest of your lawn. If you do not have the right seeds, you will end up with different types of grass that are fighting each other.
The reseeding of the bald areas should be done before the peak growing season. Ideally, you should be doing this in the fall months, so the grass can grow through spring and be ready for summer. Once you have planted the seeds, you will need to water the area as you normally would.
Test The Soil
There are a lot of people who never bother to test their soil, and this is a mistake. Testing your soil before summer allows you to determine the nutrients that you need to add to ensure that your lawn is able to grow correctly. If you do not test your soil, you could be adding to the acidity which can kill certain types of grass. Additionally, making the soil too alkaline will also be harmful to your lawn.
There are a number of land-grant schools across the country, Ziehler Lawn Care Company that will test your soil for a small fee. It is recommended that you do this to determine your soil pH level and the nutrients that are missing. You should send your soil for testing during spring to ensure that you are ready when summer comes. The results from these tests can take several weeks to arrive which is why you need to plan ahead.
Once you know your soil pH levels and the nutrients you need, you can look at fertilizers. Fertilizers will help your lawn stay healthy during the summer months. When you look at fertilizer, you will notice that there are 3 separate numbers which are separated by hyphens on the bags. These numbers will be the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer.
This is where the soil test will come in handy because it will tell you which of these nutrients your soil needs. You should use a fertilizer that will bring your soil back to an even pH level. The amount of fertilizer you need to apply will vary depending on the soil test results.
When you apply the fertilizer, you need to ensure that you are applying an even layer. The best way to do this will be to use a spreader if you have bagged fertilizer. There are push models and versions that attach to your mower that you can use. Spreading by hand will generally result in an uneven application.
Watering Your Lawn
During the summer, you should not water your lawn during the day. This is not good for the lawn or for the environment and your lawn will need every drop of water it can get when it is hot. It is recommended that you water your lawn at night or early in the morning.
It is also important that you water your lawn slowly. Faster watering will not give the water enough time to penetrate the soil and could lead to runoff. Additionally, slow watering will stop the roots from suffocating if there is not sufficient drainage.