Get a lush lawn to be proud of with our ten best lawn care tips for summer.
1. Test your soil before planting or fertilizing
Before you do anything else to your lawn, get a soil test done. You can order a soil test online for cheap, or you can get one from your local extension office or lawncare expert.
Why it’s Important: We promise, it can save you money and it doesn’t take as long as you might think! There are dozens of minerals that make up the soil, and the balance of minerals determines what will grow well. You don’t want to fertilize until you know what you need to add to your soil.
2. Leave your grass clippings on the lawn
Unless the grass is super-thick and the clippings are in huge piles all over your lawn, you should leave them in place.
Why it’s Important: Not only does leaving the grass clippings save you time and energy, but the clippings act like compost. The clippings decompose and return nutrients to the soil almost immediately. And, though you may have heard that grass clippings cause thatch, that is not true.
3. Use compost, if possible
If you have the space to do it, we strongly encourage composting and using the resulting organic material on your lawn. The best way to apply compost to your lawn is to make “compost tea.” Yes, it’s kind of gross. But your grass will love it!
Why it’s Important: Free fertilizer! Enough said.
4. Water early in the morning
Instead of watering sporadically whenever you remember to, get in a habit of watering in the morning—and only do it when you need to!
Why it’s Important: If you water when the sun is strong, the water will mostly evaporate before it soaks into the soil and gets absorbed by the grass’s roots. If you water early in the day, you won’t be wasting your time and your water.
5. Reseed bare spots right away
Always keep some grass seed around so that you can proactively seed any bare areas.
Why it’s Important: Bare areas will not fill in on their own. Well, they might, but it’ll likely be with weeds! Save yourself from having to look at a patchy, weedy lawn by taking care of bare spots ASAP.
6. Fight compaction by aerating
Hire a lawn care company or buy/rent/borrow an aerating tool approximately once a year.
Why it’s Important: The soil needs air circulation if it’s going to give your plants a fighting chance, and mechanical aeration helps lawns that are compacted by foot traffic and lawn mowers.
7. Keep your mower blades sharp
Either sharpen the blades yourself or get them sharpened once a year.
Why it’s Important: There’s nothing more frustrating than doing something and feeling like it was all for nothing, but that’s what happens if you mow your lawn with dull blades.
8. Consider organic lawncare
There are lawn products that are toxic to people and pets. Consider avoiding those.
Why it’s Important: There are plenty of safer products out there now. Why risk harming your family or pets when you could use nontoxic lawncare?
9. Think about alternatives to grass
There are so many groundcover options out there other than grass! Give them a try.
Why it’s Important: Some areas just don’t grow grass very well. Some areas may be hard to mow. And a less-practical reason: there are lots of groundcovers that just look way cooler than run-of-the-mill grass! Your local nursery can help you pick the perfect groundcover if you’re considering alternatives to grass.
10. Let go of the need for perfection
Let’s face it: your lawn isn’t going to look like a top-ranked golf course. That’s just not realistic unless you have a full-time team of professionals working on it every day. Just do the best you can and let it be!
Why it’s Important: There are more important things in life than having a flawless lawn. Now, go out there, relax, and enjoy your yard this summer!