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Summertime Landscaping Tips

May 1, 2022
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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

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.

Non-Plant Additions to Your Garden

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

When it comes to mulch, there are several different options that you may want to use, depending on what you are planting and which benefits are most important to you. You can find tips for choosing between mulch types elsewhere on our website. But whichever kind you choose, you should know that after several years, it may no longer be doing its job. This is because mulch is made of natural materials, and it will decompose over time. Some mulches like cedar mulch last longer than other ones do, but every mulch needs to be refreshed and replaced every few years. Most experts recommend replacing your mulch every 5 years, with some mulches staying intact better and having a life span of more like 6 years.

As far as other additions to your garden bed go, one of the most important additions to consider is topsoil. Many people like to do something called top dressing their lawn or garden, which is when you add some especially nutrient-packed soil to the top of your lawn to increase its productivity and vibrance. This can be done to the whole lawn or garden, or just to parts of it that you think are underperforming. For best results, many lawn and gardening experts recommend top dressing your lawn, or at least part of it, with each turn of the season. JK Enterprise offers beautiful and rich topsoil which is native to Virginia and which is sure to make your garden or lawn thrive even more than it already is.

One other thing which you may need to remember to keep refreshed periodically in your yard or garden is gravel. Even if you have already added gravel to your yard or garden and have constructed a beautiful path or clear space, you should be careful to check whether certain parts of the area covered in gravel are getting thinned out or uneven. It is wise to check the evenness of your gravel several times a year and get more gravel to even it out where it needs attention.

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.

Don’t Cut Your Grass Too Short

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.

Non-Plant Additions to Your Garden

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

When it comes to mulch, there are several different options that you may want to use, depending on what you are planting and which benefits are most important to you. You can find tips for choosing between mulch types elsewhere on our website. But whichever kind you choose, you should know that after several years, it may no longer be doing its job. This is because mulch is made of natural materials, and it will decompose over time. Some mulches like cedar mulch last longer than other ones do, but every mulch needs to be refreshed and replaced every few years. Most experts recommend replacing your mulch every 5 years, with some mulches staying intact better and having a life span of more like 6 years.

As far as other additions to your garden bed go, one of the most important additions to consider is topsoil. Many people like to do something called top dressing their lawn or garden, which is when you add some especially nutrient-packed soil to the top of your lawn to increase its productivity and vibrance. This can be done to the whole lawn or garden, or just to parts of it that you think are underperforming. For best results, many lawn and gardening experts recommend top dressing your lawn, or at least part of it, with each turn of the season. JK Enterprise offers beautiful and rich topsoil which is native to Virginia and which is sure to make your garden or lawn thrive even more than it already is.

One other thing which you may need to remember to keep refreshed periodically in your yard or garden is gravel. Even if you have already added gravel to your yard or garden and have constructed a beautiful path or clear space, you should be careful to check whether certain parts of the area covered in gravel are getting thinned out or uneven. It is wise to check the evenness of your gravel several times a year and get more gravel to even it out where it needs attention.

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.