Summer means you can enjoy your favorite activities outdoors again. From hiking to playing in the yard with your family, the warmth and sunlight of the season are the perfect accompaniment for outdoor fun. With the heat and prolonged sun exposure, however, come the responsibilities of yard care. Summer is the perfect time to get outside and ensure your home’s lawn is in tip-top shape and prepared for all the weather conditions to come.
Caring for your lawn properly means more than just cutting the grass once a week. Your yard needs routine insect and disease prevention and fertilizing to remain lush and green and prevent patches from dying throughout the year. Because fertilizer can prove problematic to the environment if applied incorrectly, it’s important homeowners apply the product slowly and in moderation.
Your grass’s fertilizer needs will differ depending upon the area in which you live. Make sure you understand the square footage of your yard, how much slow-release nitrogen is present in your fertilizer of choice and how much to apply to properly fertilize your grass. To prevent overspreading your fertilizer, invest in a spreader. This simple tool allows you to fill a reservoir with fertilizer and slowly and evenly scatter it as you walk the length of your yard. After fertilizing, be sure to irrigate your lawn lightly to wash the fertilizer to the roots of your grass. If your county, like many others, has passed regulations against the use of nitrogen fertilizer, experts recommend choosing an iron, magnesium and manganese supplement to keep your lawn looking its best without worrying about your area’s waterways.
Watering and Irrigation
Drought is somewhat common in Florida, especially between large storms. Your yard needs consistent watering to remain as beautiful as possible all summer long. Many homeowners have chosen to invest in a programmable sprinkler system. If you have a sprinkler or irrigation system installed in your home, be sure to have it inspected yearly. Check for any broken connections, leaks, flooding or abnormal flow rates.
Because many homes fertilize in summer, it’s vital that you prevent your system from overwatering the grass. Not only can overwatering flood and kill the grass, it can also wash toxic fertilizer into storm drains where the fertilizer is transferred to waterways and drinking sources. Program your sprinklers to water the lawn in the early morning or at twilight to prevent the water from immediately evaporating before it can be absorbed, and to maintain environmentally friendly water usage.
Florida residents know when summer comes around, so do hurricanes and regular afternoon storms. In addition to dumping rain, large storms like hurricanes can bring high winds that may disrupt the growth of a healthy lawn. If you have gardens or plants in your yard, be sure to anchor them to the ground with mulch and hemp netting. These will prevent rain and wind from destroying topsoil and allow plants to root deeper into the ground.
Trees should be pruned regularly to prevent high winds from catching the branches and snapping them off or pushing the entire tree over. If you prefer trees in your yard, plant a tree species that holds up against strong storms such as cypress or oak.
Grass is a bit more difficult to maintain during hurricanes. Make sure your gutters and down spouts drain away from the yard to prevent soil from being eroded and feed your grass regularly to promote stronger root growth. Finally, don’t be afraid to spray a preventative fungus treatment to keep fungus at bay when the days get wet. By maintaining your yard regularly, your hard work will stand the test of time, even when storms come knocking.
Enjoy a Gorgeous Summer Yard
After a long winter, your yard could use some TLC. Make sure you have all the tools and products you need to keep you lawn looking fresh, green and lush all summer long. To learn more about our selection of fertilizers and lawn care products, contact Lukas Nursery and Butterfly Encounter online or call 407-365-6163.