Whether your home is traditionally sized or tiny, a beautiful yard and bountiful garden can help your house feel even more like home. Summer is an important time to maintain your yard. You’ll catch some rays, get your hands dirty, and have a beautiful complement to your home with the right amount of care.
Check out these tips for some summertime yard TLC:
1. Take Care of Trees
Trees do a lot to help make your yard beautiful. They provide shade and privacy, can help reduce energy use, and are a great place for kids to get some outdoor playtime! Show your trees how much you appreciate them by giving them the care they need to thrive.
While it’s best to take care of any major trimming projects in the winter, some summertime maintenance is usually needed to keep your trees looking good all year round. Trimming your trees as needed keeps them from growing out of control and protects them from disease. Certain trees go dormant at the end of the summer and can benefit from trimming during this time, before rainy fall seasons. Often, this is a task that’s best left to the professionals, but if you hire an arborist, make sure they’re staying safe while they work on your property.
You should take care of any planting in early spring, just as the ground thaws — but it’s never too late to install that tree house or tire swing that the kids have been begging for! Summer is a great time for projects like this, and if you start now, the kids will have plenty of time to play with their new addition to the yard before the weather cools down.
2. Yard Work
Just like trees, landscaping plants do best when started or planted in the spring, but that doesn’t mean you’re done with yard work for the year, you still need a landscaping company to take care of your garden all year round. Your work in the spring will pay off with beautiful summer blooms: this is the time when your yard will look its best! Keep it looking sharp by establishing a regular maintenance routine.
Your summer yard work routine should include weeding, deadheading, mowing, and watering. Be sure to fertilize your yard in early spring and in the fall — this means you get a break in the summer! If your yard gets discolored in the summer, you can consider supplementing with minerals to help bring it back.
Prevention is the best practice when it comes to weeding, so catching weeds in the spring while they’re still young will save you a lot of work later in the summer once they’re already established. You’ll likely have a little bit of spot weeding to take care of in the summer months. Be sure to take care of weeds as soon as you notice them to avoid damage to your plants.
Deadheading will help keep your plants beautiful and happy. When you remove dead blooms, your plants are able to redirect energy into growing bigger and stronger, and they will likely reward you with even more beautiful flowers! Take a walk around your yard each week, look for any dead flowers, and carefully pinch off any you find. This can even be a great chore for kids!
Watering routines will depend on where you live. Most yards will need about an inch of water each week. If you don’t live in a climate where your yard will receive this much rain, be sure to water regularly. Morning is the best time to water your lawn, giving it time to soak in the water and dry off any excess before night time.
Mowing will probably be the bulk of your regular yard routine. Once a week is great for most yards, but be sure to follow the one-third rule: don’t take off more than one-third of the height of your grass. Find out what the right length is for your grass type and aim to maintain it.
3. Growing Gardens
A healthy garden in the summer will reap great returns: lots of delicious, fresh produce for you and your family to enjoy! There are a few steps to take to help you get there.
Your yard can take a break from feeding in the summer, but your vegetable garden needs a little more fuel. Fertilize heavy feeding plants, like tomatoes, once every 7 to 10 days. Over-fertilizing hurts more than it helps, so use less when in doubt. To give your veggies an extra boost, you can also try side dressing in the summer: adding compost or aged manure around your established plants.
Water well once a week, being sure your plants receive 1 to 2 inches. Avoid wetting foliage, which can invite disease or decay, and focus on the roots. Mulch can do a lot to keep roots cool, suppress weeds, and prevent over-drying. A couple inches of mulch should be enough to give your plants the protection they need.
Monitoring for garden pests can be another great job for the kids. Some pests can destroy a plant in a day, so doing a scan once every one to two days is a good rule of thumb, of course, if the pest problem is bigger than that you will have to find an extermination company to solve the problem. Keep your garden clean by removing diseased plants and dispose of them properly. Diseased plants should not go in your compost.
Finally, be sure to harvest your vegetables in a timely manner. Don’t leave veggies to go bad on the vine, even if you can’t eat everything you grow. Your neighbors will be thankful for extra veggies that you can’t eat! Remove plant debris and weeds quickly to cut down on the chances of disease.
With the right care and attention, your yard will be a wonderful extension of your home. Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your yard beautiful, and summertime care is a crucial part of that. Yard maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore and the nature of yard work makes it a great way to spend some time with your children. Once you develop a yard work routine that works for you, you’ll likely find that you look forward to the relaxing and peaceful time you spend keeping your yard neat.
By Brooke Faulkner