Summer is just on the horizon and now is a great time to start getting your yard ready for the warm summer months. Regular lawn maintenance is the key to a healthy and happy lawn. Use this guide to help you keep track of how you can prepare and keep your yard looking lush during the summer months in the Pacific Northwest.
Aerate your lawn
Aerating your lawn allows water, oxygen, and vital nutrients to better reach the root system. Over time, lawns become compacted thanks to everyday activities that occur in our yards. This compression can make it difficult for grass to grow properly because the roots don’t make much room. For our homeowners in the Pacific Northwest, an ideal time to aerate the lawn is during the spring while the grass has started growing. Most experts recommend aerating your lawn every one to three years, but if your yard gets a lot of action, you may want to aerate more often.
Fertilize the grass
Fertilizing your lawn twice a year is usually all you need, with a light application in the spring and fall months. Opt for a slow-release or organic fertilizer (just be aware that you may need to apply more fertilizer if you use an organic one). You can also use compost or manure if you prefer.
Mow right and as often as needed
Mowing is the core maintenance task that can make or break your lawn. Many homeowners make the mistake of cutting the blades too short. Instead of giving your grass a buzzcut, try to remove no more than one-third of the grass. Two inches is a perfectly acceptable height for most grasses. Longer grass blades provides shade to the soil, keeping it moist. You may need to only mow your lawn once every two or three weeks (or once your grass reaches at least three inches in height).
Make sure your mower’s blades are sharp and well maintained. Dull blades will damage the grass by ripping or tearing it instead of cutting cleaning.
Most homeowners are wary of under-watering their yard; however, over-watering can be just as harmful. When it comes to summer watering, consider watering deeper and less frequently. Most experts recommend watering 1 inch of water once a week instead of sticking to a specific amount of time. If you don’t know how long it takes to lay down an inch of water, place a rain gauge or plastic cup to measure how much water you’re putting on. This will cause the grass roots to grow deeper into the soil, making it possible for it to sustain itself during periods of drought.
Try to water your grass during the early morning or late evening hours to allow the lawn the best chance at absorbing the moisture instead of being quickly evaporated by the summer heat.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your yard ready for summer so you can enjoy your lawn well into the summer season.
For other seasonal tips and videos take a look at our homeowner maintenance page here.