Preparing your Landscape for Summer

Summer will be here before you know it- will your landscape be ready? Hot summer days and dry weather can really stress your lawn and landscape. Without proper preparation for summer, all the money, time and effort you invested in your landscape this spring could be in jeopardy.

To keep your lawn and landscape looking great as the summer heats up, follow these tips from the landscape professionals at Hively.

sprinklerProtect your Lawn

  1. Water Regularly. Be mindful of drought restrictions, but when you notice the soil is dry, get out the sprinkler and give it a good soaking. Remember, water it low, slow, and not too often.
  2. Brown isn’t dead. Even if you lawn gets brown patches during a prolonged dry or hot spell, it’s not dead, it’s dormant. Usually the grass will come back once the rains and cooler temps arrive.
  3. Let it grow. Grasses for our region typically perform best at a height of 3 to 4 ½ inches. This helps discourage weed growth and better equips the grass for dry stretches that can occur in the summer.
  4. Fertilize early. Early June is the latest you’ll want to apply lawn fertilizer in our area. Aeration, dethatching, seeding and overseeding should all be done by mid May. Use this handy turfgrass management calendar from the Center for Turfgrass Science at PennState as a guide.

Protect your Landscape

  1. Mulch everything. Mulch helps control soil moisture and regulate the soil temperature.
  2. Prune damaged limbs. Summer storms can be rough on your landscape. Insects and disease can attack storm-damaged trees. Prune out any smaller dead branches, and for larger branches hire a trained arborist. The Arbor Day Foundation put together this great article on tree first aid after a storm we encourage you to read through.
  3. Water Annuals may need daily watering. Stick your finger in the soil at the base of the plant about a knuckle deep. If the soil is dry, water it, and if it’s still moist you can check again later. Just like with your lawn, you’ll want to water slowly, for a longer period of time to ensure that the roots get enough water. Recommended watering time – 10 seconds
  4. Water Perennials/Shrubs. Again, you’ll want to check the soil before you water. Perennials and shrubs will likely only need watering about twice a week, but make it a slow, thorough soaking. Recommended watering time – 30 seconds
  5. Water Trees. Anything established should be fine, but if you have new plantings. They’ll need lots of water during the summer heat, because their roots aren’t established. Recommended watering time – 3-5 minutes

If at any point you feel overwhelmed, or are going away for an extended period of time and need a hand, give the professionals at Hively a call at 717-292-5696. We offer a variety of proactive maintenance plans that will fit your needs any time of year.