There’s no denying that the end of summer is a hectic time for anyone with a lawn. There are school activities coming to an end, kids getting ready to go back to school, and homeowners organizing their outdoor spaces so they’re ready for cooler temperatures. But how can you organize your outdoor space so it’s more maintenance-friendly? The answer is simple: Follow these 7 landscape maintenance tips for the end of summer.
Mow Your Lawn Once a Week
Mowing your lawn once a week is the best way to keep it looking great. The frequency with which you mow your lawn depends on the type of grass you have, but generally, a weekly mowing schedule works great for most lawns. Also, consider adjusting your mowing schedule based on the season. For example, if you’re mowing your lawn in the fall, you may want to decrease the frequency since your lawn is growing more slowly and isn’t being cut as often due to shorter days. For best results, use a push mower with a blade that is sharpened every time you mow. This ensures your lawn is evenly cut so that it has a healthy, even appearance. If you have a large lawn or if you prefer to use a riding mower, make sure it’s sharpened as well.
Trim Shrubs and Hedges
Cutting shrubs and hedges is an important part of any landscaping maintenance plan. Not only are they great for adding curb appeal to your home, but they also help to keep weeds out of your lawn. Make sure you cut these areas regularly throughout the growing season. If you live in a warmer area and your shrubs are growing rapidly, you may want to trim them more often. And if you live in an area with cold winters, you may want to wait until the spring to trim shrubs and hedges since they may die if you trim them too early. When you’re trimming shrubs and hedges, make sure to use clean, sharp gardening tools. If you’re clipping hedges, make sure to clip them above eye level so as not to block windows that may overlook your yard.
Perform Weekly Maintenance on Your Edger and Mower
Your edger and mower are two of the most important tools for maintaining a healthy lawn. The key to keeping them in good working order is to perform regular maintenance. Make sure to clean and sharpen your blades on a regular basis (ideally before and after each use). Ensure you sharpen your blades at a 45-degree angle or less. This ensures the blades are slicing through the grass, not smashing it. Also, remember to clean your lawnmower periodically. This prevents rust and other forms of damage. To clean your mower, remove the bag and the blades, and clean them with a garden hose. Make sure to dry the mower before replacing the bag and blades.
Add Mulch to Help Preserve Soil Quality
Adding mulch to your lawn is a great way to help preserve soil quality. Mulch is organic matter such as bark, leaves, or straw that goes over the soil around plants, shrubs, trees, and other things in your landscape. It can be laid around the base of trees to protect their roots and the soil around them from excess water retention or erosion. When you add mulch to your lawn, it helps prevent weeds from growing and keeps your soil moist, which reduces the need for watering. Additionally, it helps prevent soil erosion and can improve the appearance of your landscape. Note that mulch comes in many materials, such as bark, wood chips, or even shredded paper, so you can find one that fits with your outdoor décor.
Re-seed Lawns Now
If you’re noticing bare spots in your lawn, it’s likely because pests such as grubs, billbugs, and armyworms are feeding on your lawn and destroying the roots that keep your lawn healthy. To stop your lawn from dying, you’ll need to re-seed the affected areas. There are a few ways to go about this. You can use a handheld or push seeding tool, a drop-seed spreader or a seed scuffer. A seed scuffer is a tool consisting of a frame with teeth that scuff the soil, which helps the seeds to break through the surface and germinate.
When re-seeding your lawn, make sure to use a seed mix suitable for your lawn type. When re-seeding lawns, you should use a seed mix that contains a combination of annual and perennial seeds. Annual seeds are quick-growing and will grow and mature in one season while perennial seeds are slower growing and will continue to grow year after year.
Apply Fertilizer to Boost Grass Growth During Cooler Months
If your grass growth is slow because of cooler temperatures, you may want to consider applying fertilizer to speed growth. There are three types of fertilizer that you can use this time of year: Organic, slow-release, and quick-release. You should apply Organic fertilizer directly to the soil, allowing it to metabolize over time. Slow-release fertilizer is applied to the soil, but the nutrients break down more slowly. Whereas quick-release fertilizer makes the nutrients immediately available to the grass. Choose a fertilizer that is suitable for your soil type and that has a balanced formula (meaning it has the right amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). A fertilizer that has too much or too little of these three nutrients can harm your lawn rather than help it.
Check for Foundation Problems
Another maintenance activity for the end of summer is checking for foundation problems. You can determine if you have foundation problems by observing cracks in the surface of your lawn or by looking for signs of standing water under your home. To determine if you have a foundation problem, simply walk around the exterior of your house with a friend. If you notice any cracks, shifting soil that may lead to foundation issues in the future, could be the issue. If you notice cracks in your lawn, there are a few things you can do to fix them. First, make sure there are no underground utilities (i.e., water, gas, or sewer lines) in the area by contacting your local utility company. If there are no utilities, you can use a soil stabilizer such as bentonite (powdered clay) to help pack the soil and prevent future cracking.
Landscape maintenance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you follow these simple tips, you can keep your landscape looking great all year long. The best way to keep your outdoor space maintenance-friendly is to have a plan in place. Make sure to create a landscaping maintenance schedule so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to do certain tasks as these fall days are upon us.