Summertime Landscaping Tips

July 5, 2018
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Keeping your yard and landscaping beautiful is part of Summer. Saturdays spent mowing and trimming are a way of life for many northern Virginia homeowners. We all want beautiful surroundings, but there are a few things that even the most conscientious homeowners consistently get wrong! It all starts with some myths about how and when to take care of your landscaping. There are a few things that are easy fixes, and that can make big improvements. Take note of these changes and start implementing them now.

Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short

How Short to Cut Grass

Grass is Too Short – Avoid Patches and Brown Spots!

It might seem like cutting your grass nice and tight will make it look better and make for less maintenance, but it is exactly the opposite! If you keep your grass very short, it can do quite a lot of harm to your lawn in a few different ways. First, the short grass means that the delicate roots can be left exposed to intense summer heat. That intensity can harm the roots and cause patchy growth.

Second, the problem is compounded because short grass makes it much easier for weeds to take hold and grow. Very short grass does exactly the opposite of what most homeowners want!

The best practice is to keep your grass mid-length which is typically around 3 or 4 inches of blade length. For most lawnmowers, that’s the middle wheel setting, or perhaps one setting longer than middle. This will keep your grass the perfect length to be as healthy as possible through the summer.

Watering Your Lawn At The Wrong Time

Ever feel water out of a hose that’s been left in the sun? The water comes out HOT. The sun has very intense energy and can heat water up very quickly. Some people believe that by watering during the heat of the day, the plants and grass are getting a nice feeding of sun and water, but that is not the case. Watering during the day can lead to a couple of problems, both are terrible for your lawn and garden. First, the water can evaporate very quickly, so while it may seem like your giving plenty of water to your grass, the roots never absorb as much as you think. Second, the water sitting on grass during the high heat of mid day can also have a burning effect. The best time to water is in the cooler mornings or evenings, when the plants can fully absorb the nourishing hydration.

Choose Your Summer Plantings Wisely

When you head over to the Gateway Garden Center to pick some new plants for your front beds or your garden, take the extra time to read the care and feeding labels or to ask an experienced staff member. Some plants just don’t like to be planted in mid summer. It’s much better to add new landscaping with plants that thrive at that time of year. There are also little tips and tricks for various plants. For example, Climatis is a beautiful climbing plant that many homeowners plant below a trellis, or at the base of a mailbox or lamppost. But Climatis likes shady feet. Putting this plant in the ground with its lower stems exposed to full sun may not be the best option. In summery, take care to check what you are planting and where you are planting it – summer may not be the best option for planting some varieties.

You may also need to give your plants help, like soil amendments or mulch.

Landscaping can be fun and is a regular part of summer life for people in northern Virginia. Just take care to follow these simple, yet often overlooked, steps for better landscape maintenance.