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The summer heat can take its toll on your yard, especially if you don’t take the proper steps of summertime maintenance. Try these techniques to better preserve your lawn and other areas of your home this summer.
Raise your lawnmower blade to a higher setting, so that you’re only trimming away one-third of the grass height – taller grass is more resilient to heat and drought. It’s also a good idea to alternate mowing patterns, so you don’t create strips or ruts over time. When you’re finished mowing, leave the clippings on the lawn, as they filter down into the grass, decompose, and recycle nutrients back into the yard. For watering your lawn, the best time to ensure that most of the moisture will be absorbed is either early in the morning or late in the evening; during the peak hours of the day, watering can actually have a damaging effect.
Debris and Overgrowth
Thunderstorms bring an onslaught of high wind and moisture over the course of the summer. As a result, your yard collects damaged foliage, debris and overgrowth. Check around your yard for trees with any hanging or fallen limbs. Trim down any overgrowth from bushes or vines, especially near the house; overgrowth can interfere with your AC condenser, as well as invite termites into your home. If you want to keep vines along the side of your home without jeopardizing the exterior walls, install a trellis to keep the vines off of the foundation.
Flowers and Plants
The summer heat can damage flowers and plants, subsequently attracting harmful insects. It’s best to take preventative steps against insect damage by making sure your garden stays healthy. Pruning is a great technique to promote plant health. Simply pinch off any dead flower heads and remove any damaged or crossed branches. This promotes increased blooming and eliminates any potential breeding places for insects.
The best way to stop weeds from spreading is to pull them out when they’re young, before they flower and seed. Dandelions develop deep taproots that are harder to pull once they mature. You may even need to use a spade to get out the ones with deeper roots. Use herbicides as a last resort, in circumstances when your entire lawn is overrun or nothing else will work on a particular weed.
Summer rainstorms coupled with long dry spells can cause damage to wooden structures. Clean and repair your deck, and apply stain or seal if needed. Other wood structures, such as pergolas or gazebos, can be treated in the same manner; preserve wood by coating it with a waterproof sealer every two to four years. Summer is also a good time to lubricate gate latches and hinges, as well as refresh graveled and mulched areas.
Yard maintenance in the summer can seem futile, especially during times of drought, but it’s important to maintain a steady routine in order to prevent any long-term damage.