Here are a few summertime yard care basics:
The quintessential yard staple. You can have beautiful flowers, but if your lawn is dying you’ll still get the side eye from your neighbors (and in some neighborhoods a ding from your HOA). With the dry and hot climate of Colorado it can be tricky to keep your lawn bright and green, but a few basic tricks will help you be the talk of the town.
- Deep Watering
It’s not about how often you water but about how deep the water goes. If you water too often you will create a short root system and your grass will die more quickly during severe heat. So instead of watering a little bit every day, water your lawn once, maybe twice a week, for about an hour in the evening so it has time to soak in. This type of watering will encourage root growth and keep your lawn healthier even during extreme weather.
Keeping your lawn cut short is also encouraging short roots to develop. When the blades of grass are taller they are able to catch more sunlight which is then used to increase the root mass and depth. If you cut your lawn short the root development will be halted. Additionally, have taller grass helps retain water by blocking the soil from direct sunlight. It’s time to up your mower blades.
Using a nitrogen fertilizer can help to encourage strong roots. Ideally, the first application of fertilizer should have happened back when the lilacs started blooming, but if you missed it you can still make it up. Get a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer and spread it over your lawn every 6 to 8 weeks through October. Most pros recommend granules for homeowners because they are easy to use and still efficient.
Most of us have no idea what kind of care our trees actually need. Do they need water, or is it enough to water the lawn and let them get some too? Here are a few basic rules.
Established trees have well developed root systems which makes them resilient. If your tree is located in range of the watering system you use for the lawn it won’t need extra water. However, if your tree doesn’t get water regularly you’ll need to take care to water it. Check the soil using an 8” screw driver. If the soil is moist it will easily pass into the soil, but if it’s dry it will take work. If you can’t poke 6” into the soil, it’s time to water. Give the soil around the tree a big dose of water.
To encourage tree growth it’s best to prune in the winter, but if you want to slow the growth of a part of your tree, summer pruning is perfect. By pruning branches after seasonal development you will slow the growth of the branches you pruned. This is because you are decreasing the overall leaf surface, reducing the amount of food produced.
Flowers are the most high maintenance part of your yard. But, with the right knowledge and tools you can keep your flowers looking lush and beautiful all summer long.
Each kind of flower requires different levels of watering. The secret to keeping your flower bed looking beautiful is to choose flowers that all require the same amount of sunlight and water. This way you can water the whole flower bed evenly whenever necessary. Read the details on your specific flower. Learn more about your flowers here.
Most flowers need regular care throughout their growing season. Primarily, you need to deadhead your flowers so more blooms can come in. With some flowers you can do this with your fingers by pulling gently on deadheads to see if they are ready to come off. With other flowers you will need pruning shears to snip off the deadheads.
If you’ve decided to plant a flower garden you need to keep the weeds at bay. This can be a time consuming undertaking, so it’s best to commit a few minutes each day to the maintenance of your garden. Small weeds can be pulled by hand, but larger weeds will require tools such as a small spade. You need to get all the roots of the weed and remove it completely from your garden otherwise it is likely to regrow.