For many people, summertime means time to relax.
But when it comes to lawn care, it’s hard to take a summer vacation. This is the season for drought, weeds, and pests.
Here are a few tips to make this summer’s landscape maintenance in the Pacific Northwest bit more manageable:
Landscape Maintenance Tips
- Inspect your trees for hanging limbs. Summer brings a lot of thunderstorms, and broken limbs have the potential to do a lot of damage.
- Trim your hedges. If left unattended, they can collect moisture and invite termites. Check your trees and shrubs for insect or disease damage on a regular basis.
- New trees and shrubs should be watered once a week, moistening the soil to a depth of one foot. Trim hedges after their first flush of new growth.
- Having large bushes and hedges near your home can also attract another sort of pests: burglars. Home security experts say intruders often use untrimmed bushes to hide.
- Monitor the moisture in the soil around your trees and shrubs. Give these plants additional water during hot, dry periods. You should also add additional mulch if the mulch around the base of your plants has thinned out. This helps keep the soil moist and the roots cool.
- You may have plants that are under stress from the heat. You may want to transplant them somewhere where they’ll get more shade so they’ll be happier next summer. But wait until at least late August before you move your plants.
- Weeding takes on new importance during summer. Smaller weeds should come up easily, but if you allow them to take root, they’ll grow faster in warmer temperatures.
- If your lawn has become dormant during mid-summer, weeds have gotten a chance to thrive. Consider combating them with a weed control product or herbicide.
- Water your lawn in the early morning if you can. Your lawn needs water for about 25-30 minutes, three or four times a week. When it gets really hot, it’s OK to water for 15 minutes in the afternoon to cool down the grass.
- Cut flowers and herbs in the morning. Harvest fruit when it gets ripe and vegetables as needed. Shrubs that bloom in the spring, such as lilacs, should be pruned once their flowers fade.
- Mow your lawn regularly, taking care to only remove 1/3 of the grass height each time you cut. Leave the clippings on the lawn. This will supply your soil with extra nutrients.
- Raise the mowing height as the summer progresses. Taller grass has a better chance to standing up to heat and drought.
- Protect your pollinators. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are all an essential part of the health of your garden, so be sure to avoid pesticides and herbicides that may be harmful.