Summer Lawn and Garden Tips

Between the picnics, outdoor reading and social events, there's no better time to bring your garden to life than the summer. Below is a list of summer lawn and garden tips to help you keep your yard flourishing, from sunrise to sunset.

Summer garden tips:

  • Add instant color: Use planting containers to your advantage and arrange as desired outside for a pop of color in your garden. It's best to use an assortment of glazed ceramic pots that have adequate drainage and be sure to place newspaper beneath to prevent loss of soil.
  • Increase fullness of plants: Pinch back chrysanthemums to encourage bushier growth, just by nipping off the last half inch of the stem with your thumb and index finger.
  • Divide perennials: Since most perennials increase in size over time, it's important to start dividing spring perennials now to rejuvenate growth. Signs that perennials need to be divided include: The center of the clump is dead, flowers are unusually small, and bottom foliage is sparse.
  • Pest control: Monitor plants and vegetables regularly for any disease or damage caused by pests, slugs or snails in your garden. Take immediate action if you notice any sign of irregular growth or damage to your plants.

Summer lawn care tips:

  • Adjust mowing height: Raise the cutting height on your lawn mower as the weather becomes hot and dry. This will preserve soil moisture, keep soil temperatures cooler, and maintain the quality of turf grass. Higher mowing heights also reduce weed growth.
  • Seed lawn: Keep your lawn looking fresh and healthy by reseeding or overseeding patchy areas. Be sure to give your lawn a hard raking first to loosen the soil and clear debris. Then make sure to spread seed as evenly as possible. Give the lawn a good watering for a month afterward, making sure it remains moist so seeds begin to germinate.
  • Move houseplants:  When relocating houseplants outside, make sure they are placed in a shaded, protected area. Sometimes immediate light, when accustomed to being indoors, can come as a huge shock and promote stress to the plant. It's also important to feed plants half the recommended strength of fertilizer to keep them from becoming leggy or burnt as they get acclimated to the new climate.
  • Water mindfully: Young plants need to be watered lightly and more frequently to encourage budding, while mature plants can soak up more water deep into the soil for longer periods of time. You can test the depth of rain by placing a coffee can in the center of your garden to monitor how much natural water it's receiving.
  • Weed control: Be proactive about pulling and preventing weeds from flowering as they can compete with other plants for space, nutrients, water and light.
  • Change birdbath water: Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so it's recommended to change your birdbath water once a week. It's also important to empty accumulated water from buckets or trash cans, as mosquitoes prefer quiet, non-flowing water to lay their eggs.