With warm weather, poolside parties and bountiful barbeques comes the need for major use of the family backyard. This means you will likely be dealing with the tricky task of keeping your landscaping in tip top shape amidst the heat.
Though summer landscaping tips can often be a challenging task, homeowners can find simple ways to preserve their gardens, lawns, and flowers throughout the season and thoroughly enjoy the lush greenery that they put so much time and effort maintaining. For experienced green thumbs and beginners alike, here are some do’s and don’ts to remember when attempting to landscape your backyard jungle this season.
DO: MOW REGULARLY AND MAINTAIN A SET MOWING SCHEDULE
Your lawnmower is among the most important supplies for landscaping a backyard and regular mowing is critical to proper lawn care. Though this can range from once to several times a week depending on growth rates and desired height, cutting grass on the highest setting (and continuing to reduce it as the summer progresses) is key to preventing the onset of a brown and spotted lawn.
Remember that grass needs to stay at a certain level to fight off drought and other lawn hazards so do not cut too short, as this will destroy its natural ability to thrive. When in doubt, stay on the high side of that mower’s blade settings.
DON’T: ALLOW PESTS TO MAKE THEMSELVES AT HOME
Among the summer landscaping tips that too many people gloss over is the infestation of pests. There are a variety of lawn pests that pose a threat to landscaping, ranging from grubs, sod webworms, chinch bugs, and armyworms to many others that will lead not only to pesky pest infestations, but also brown patches of grass that will only prove to be an eyesore.
DO: FEED AND FERTILIZE ACCORDINGLY
Remember that diverse types of grass have different nutrient needs that must be met for your lawn to remain thick and healthy. Warm-season grass types, for example, need a nutrient boost so just an extremely quick application of fertilizer is the best way to provide needed vital nutrients.
At the end of the day, fertilizing is still one of the best and most important lawn maintenance choices that needs to be made. Take note, however, that over-fertilizing or misapplying can also have dire effects on your lawn, as the nitrogen in fertilizer can burn the grass, especially when temperatures are high. To prevent damage, opt for a slow-release fertilizer with a lower nitrogen content than usual and follow the directions carefully.
DO: BRIGHTEN UP BY USING DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS
When it comes to the art of landscaping, color is king. Spruce up those natural greens and browns by inserting a splash of color that will draw visitors’ eyes towards your home.
Take inspiration from the warmer temperatures by adding color to the yard in the form of new annuals or perennials—perhaps even some drought-tolerant plants, which are popular because they conserve water and require low-maintenance.
Make your home look even more inviting by lining walkways with colorful vegetation. Add flowers to garden beds, window boxes, or charming pots on the porch. Creative touches such as a climbing flower along a trellis or corner of a fence can easily serve as automatic attention-getters.
Additionally, consider planting shade trees throughout to add texture to the landscape, as trees of any size can be a beautifully classic accent to any yard. Try going for large evergreen trees on the south or southwest side of the home to conserve energy and to reduce your energy bills. Consider planting trees to shade your air conditioner to help keep it cooler and running more efficiently.
DON’T: WATER DURING THE HOTTEST PART OF THE DAY
There will be times throughout the day that are useless when it comes to watering your lawn because the water will evaporate before it reaches the roots. The best time to water is in the early morning, while temperatures are lower and plants can make better use of the hydration— your roots will thank you. Additionally, during the hotter parts of the day, many plants go dormant. This means that water consumption is neither adequate nor efficient.
DO: KEEP YOUR LAWN HYDRATED AND WATCH FOR WEEDS
When it comes to hydration, the most common summer lawn care mistake is in fact not watering the lawn enough. While avoiding the hottest parts of the day, try to avoid watering after the sun goes down as once the sun sets, water will leave grass moist overnight and promote fungal growth. It is recommended that sprinklers are set up automatically to deliver water in the morning and that homeowners check the location of each sprinkler to make sure it is completely covering all necessary areas – and not the sidewalk or driveway.
In addition, never allow weeds to grow, especially if you’re trying to get a garden underway. Dandelions, for example, though enjoyed thoroughly by children, can be invasive and problematic, detracting overall appeal from the yard. Consider spraying pre-emergent herbicide within all garden beds to save time and trouble.
DON’T: FORGET TO ENJOY YOUR BACKYARD
With all that challenging work and effort, never forget to take a break and relax. Grab a lemonade and enjoy the beauty of your new backyard!
If you need any references to local certified vendors or want to chat with a member of our team for advice, give us a call!