7 Simple Steps to Achieve a Luscious Summer Lawn
By Eric Brand
As typical in New England, we have gone right from winter to summer with out much of a spring. Grass is growing, temperatures are up and you could do potentially permanent damage to your lawn if you do not follow these seven simple steps.
1. De-thatch if you have not already done so as it will get out the dead grass and allow the lawn to breath, and allow for water and fertilizer to be more effective.
2. Edging of your mulch beds and reapplying bark mulch should be completed by now. If you have been too busy and like most, never had the chance to get this done with our nonexistent spring, I say “better late than never.” The mulching will help reduce weeds and retain moisture for your plant material.
3. Next on the list, hopefully you have gotten your crabgrass pre-emergent down back in April-May. If not, get this down ASAP, even though this may not be 100% effective due to the trimming and ground temps. Second applications of crab grass pre-emergent are becoming more popular to hold back some of the summer heat and drought related crabgrass recurrences.
4. If you have done your crabgrass pre-emergent timely, you should be getting your next fertilizer application down now, to improve color and root vigor. Most off-the-shelf fertilizers will contain a weed control.
5. This time of year you should be doing weekly mowing between 3-3 ½ inches in height for most grasses in New England. This is leaving your grass a little on the higher side to help prevent summer burn out, as the temperatures continue to rise. We recommend picking up all grass clippings.
6. Irrigation systems will need to have their times adjusted for the seasonal needs. Please note that not all zones will require the same amount of time, this is a huge variable based on nozzle size, full/partial sun, drainage, type of heads, partial/full circle rotation of heads, etc. When programming your controller for summer months, early morning watering is best for an established lawn. Be sure to finish up the cycle by 9:00 am. This allows for the “best bang for your buck” as the water will have enough time to be absorbed into the soil before the sun gets stronger and evaporates it quicker than the absorption rate.
7. As your large and small leaf Rhododendrons have finished their flowering schedules, it is best to prune before they set their buds for next year. The sooner they are pruned, the more time the plants will have to set their buds for next year. Evergreens and forsythias can be pruned at this time as they are finishing up their spring flush of growth. Rose of Sharon and Hydrangea should not be pruned at this time as they are getting ready for their late summer show of flowers. It is best to wait until they drop their leaves in the fall. In most cases a general shrub fertilizer would be a great help, sprinkled around the base and then watered.
If you are behind schedule this summer and do not want to handle your lawn yourself, our specialists are available for summer lawn maintenance or any other type of lawn care support. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 603.595.2802 or send us a request via our contact form.