Summer brings outdoor barbeques and backyard play for children of all ages. As many people spend more time outdoors during the summer months than at any other time, follow these tips for a healthy, entertainment-worthy yard.
- Water, correctly. Many people think the summer months mean water frequently – but the way you water is more important than the frequency with which you water. Grass and plants are resilient and have mechanisms that help them deal with the summer heat. For instance, grass may go dormant and look brown during times of drought, but, if it is well cared for, it may return to normal when there is adequate moisture. Efficient tips for watering include:
- Water your plants less often, but deeply.
- Water in the early morning or evening hours so the sun and heat don’t steal moisture from your plants. Ideally, grass should get at least one inch of water per week.
- Use drip irrigation instead of sprinklers and hoses. Drip irrigation waters plants slowly so the water doesn’t run off or evaporate.
- Ensure the health of your grass.
- Has your lawn aerated to improve oxygen flow and check the soil pH balance to ensure the healthiest grass?
- It’s not too late to fertilize. It is important that your grass has adequate fertilizer, which provides the nutrients necessary for good health.
- Remove weeds from the grass as they steal nutrients.
- Mow correctly. Many homeowners are tempted to mow their grass short to minimize the frequency of mowing; however, proper mowing techniques will help promote the good health of your lawn.
- Give attention to the plants on your deck and patio. Many people add potted flowers and herbs to their outdoor living spaces in the summer months. If doing so, protect your investment and enjoy them fully by watering potted plants regularly, add mulch to pots to help retain moisture and place them in spots where they will get shade during the day.
- Consider a container drip irrigation system. There are some available that connect to a timer and your hose bib. This is particularly useful if you plan to go away for more than a day during the hot summer months.
Note: You can help your yard win the battle with drought by choosing the right plants, to begin with. Plants that are native to your region will be best adapted to your weather conditions and will need less water. Even if you choose natives, be sure those natives are listed as drought-tolerant since even some natives prefer wetter conditions. You can also choose drought-resistant or low-water plants and turf varieties. Ask your landscape professional for advice when selecting new plants.