How to Prepare Your Lawn for Summer
Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your lawn for summer. There are a few things you can do in the spring to help your turf thrive and stay healthy all season long, such as:
Debris, such as leaves and branches, can damage your lawn if left lying around. Using a rake, make sure to clear off any debris from your lawn on a regular basis.
One of the most important things you can do for your lawn in the spring is break up the thatch. Thatch is a layer of dead grass, weed stems, and other debris that builds up over time and can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil.
There are three common ways to break apart thatch:
- Raking is the most manual way to do it, but it’s also the most effective.
- A dethatcher is a motorized tool that you can use to rake up the debris.
- A lawn aerator punches holes in the soil to allow air and water to reach the roots.
If your lawn is looking a little thin, overseeding can help thicken it up. Overseeding is the process of planting new grass seeds over the existing ones and is often combined with lawn aeration.
You can do this yourself by using a broadcast seeder, or you can hire a professional to do it for you, but it is vital to water the new seeds regularly and keep them free of debris to ensure that they take root.
The pH of your yard’s soil can have a major impact on how well your grass grows. Most grasses grow best when the soil pH is between 5.8 and 7.2.
You can test your soil’s pH yourself with a soil test kit, or you can hire a professional to do it for you. If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, you can adjust the pH by adding lime or sulfur to the soil.
Lime is a mineral that helps to raise the pH of acidic soil. If your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to the soil to help it become more alkaline, which can help to cut down on the amount of moss, weeds, diseases, and insect pests you find in your yard.
You can buy lime as a powder or a pellet, and you can either spread it on top of the lawn or till it into the soil.
Once your grass is starting to green up and begins to actively grow (around the time your turf first needs to be mowed), it’s time to start fertilizing. Adding fertilizer to your lawn is one of the most important things you can do to keep it healthy, as it provides the nutrients that the grass needs to grow and thrive.
There are many different types of fertilizer, so be sure to choose one that is suited for your lawn. Some of the main factors include:
- Organic or inorganic
- Slow-release or fast-release
- The different levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Be sure to read the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully, though in most cases, it is best to get the input of a lawn care professional.
If you want to keep pesky weeds from taking over your yard, it’s important to apply a pre-emergence herbicide. This type of herbicide will kill any weed seeds that germinate, which will help to keep your lawn free of weeds, such as crabgrass, foxtail, and dandelion. Check out our blog on the most common types of weeds to give you a better idea of what to look for.
Depending on how hot it is, you may need to start mowing your lawn every week or two. Ideally, you should mow your grass to a height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
It’s important to mow your lawn at the right height regularly, as the length of your grass also affects:
- how much water it needs
- how well it withstands heat and drought
- how susceptible it is to pests and diseases.
To prevent damaging your turf, be sure to use a sharp blade on your mower.
One of the most important things is to make sure your lawn gets enough water. During the summer, your grass will need at least one inch of water per week. You can water your yard manually with a hose or sprinkler, or you can use an automatic sprinkler system set to about 30 minutes once or twice a week.
For the best results, reach out to a professional lawn care company, such as Winkler Tree & Lawn Care. Between our lawn care and plant health care packages, we have the services you need to get the yard of your dreams! Whether you live in Naperville, La Grange, Elmhurst, or beyond, we are here to serve you.