Having a great landscape design in Braggtown Durham NC can make or break your home’s curb appeal. But having a home with curb appeal doesn’t have to be the end game. For many homeowners, having a yard that looks picture worthy is more than a goal, it is a passion. However, for those who want the beautiful yard but possess minimal knowledge of how to achieve that look, it can be an intimidating challenge.
Fortunately, having a gorgeous yard does not require a degree in horticulture, but is does mean either doing a lot of homework or either bringing someone in to do the work for you. If you opt to do the work yourself and lean as you go, then having some helpful hints from pros both around the country, and especially in your region, can be a big help. To get you started, here are some landscaping tips from the pros.
Don’t just get stuck on a beautiful yard for a specific season. Think about what your yard will look like from January through December, then plant accordingly and think with yard maintenance in mind. With this thought, be sure to include a variety of shrubs and trees that will remain green all year long.
What should You Avoid When Landscaping in Braggtown Durham NC?
Summer can be one of the toughest times of the year for lawns, especially when we live in one of the warmer climates. While Summer is a time of thriving for many lawns, likewise it is also a time for less well looked after turf to suffer many different problems that can lead to stress and poor health. With a few simple lawn care practices we should be able to greatly improve all lawns as they navigate their way through the warmest months of the year.
Best Practice Lawn Watering
Watering is of course the most important aspect of turf health in Summer. Correct lawn watering practices will enable a lawn to send down roots much deeper into the soil profile, past the evaporation level of the very top of the soil, which as a result will make our turf more heat and drought tolerant.
We can slowly train our turf to create a deep root system by only ever watering the lawn once it's showing signs of leaf wilt, and then giving the lawn a deep drink of water at that time. This is an easy method to grow a deep root system for all turf.
Fertilize Lawns In The Spring
A home lawn which is healthy before Summer arrives is a far better solution to achieve a healthy Summer lawn, than if we were to wait until Summer arrives and then trying to create a healthy lawn. The same is true of Winter lawn care.
Fertilization of turf should be done prior to the onset of the two harshest seasons, Summer and Winter. So we want to be sure we have fertilized with a high quality fertilizer prior to the onset of Summer so that the lawn is in its peak health as the heat arrives.
The Importance Of Correct Summer Lawn Mowing
Loss of moisture in soils is responsible for the majority of turf problems in the Summer. As already discussed, we can greatly improve this situation by watering correctly to promote deep root growth, but we can also help the soil further by reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation in the Summer sun.
While a strong healthy lawn growing in full sunlight can be cut short, for most lawns which are less than perfect, their greatest health benefit in Summer can come about by increasing the lawn mowing height. This increase in the length of the lawn leaf then shades and insulates the soil against further moisture loss, resulting in less heat stress for the lawn.
This same principle of insulating the soil against moisture loss can be further added upon by mulch mowing the lawn. Whereby the lawn cuttings are recycled back into the lawn, rather than being collected and thrown away. Recycling lawn clippings not only insulates the lawn soil against moisture loss, but they are an incredible source of nutrients to feed back to the lawn instead of relying on the expense and hassle of having to use so many lawn fertilizers.
Lawn Weed And Pest Control
Some treatments for lawn pests and weeds can be harsh on the lawn, especially those that are applied by the homeowner and not by a turf professional.
Avoid treating for weeds or pests using chemical pesticides on the hottest days of Summer, instead wait for milder days to do any such spraying, or better yet, try to treat for pests and weeds in Spring, before Summer arrives.
Yard Maintenance - Summer Lawn Watering Tips
Summer Watering Tip
Your lawn should receive around 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week during the hottest months of summer. We suggest deep watering down to the soil depth of at least 6 inches.
Too light of a watering will merely damped the grass, which is of little benefit. In some cases a light watering can actually harm your lawn.
Just about everyone has seen your typical scorched, yellow, summer lawn...they can be quite an eyesore. Below we will go over a method to help prevent this. As with anything else, it will require a little bit of experimentation to adapt the amount of watering to your needs.
Here is a good way to determine how long to water your lawn and keep your property looking green in the hot summer months:
Place an empty can or bucket on your lawn and measure how long it takes to apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water, depending on your individual watering needs.
This is an accurate way of measuring how long it will take to properly water your landscape during the blistering hot months. The deeper watering will allow your grass to stay moist and protected, rather than wither in hot, dry dirt.
As always, a little experimentation is required for each individual landscape, however it gives you a more visually representation of how much water is being used.
Also remember that hot temperatures increase the likelihood of 'burning' the lawn if fertilizer applied, so do so preferably in the Spring or Fall instead.
Even if you're not in possession of the greenest thumb in the neighborhood, you are no doubt aware spring is a critical time for your yard. Making sure you are properly prepared for the (gulp) mowing season is important if you'd like those neighbors to spend the summer staring at your grass with envy.
Here are a few steps to take in the upcoming weeks to ensure your grass is ready to go.
Fertilizing: Depending on climate, the time between February and April is one of the key times you should be "feeding" your lawn each year. Spring fertilizing helps strengthen roots before the heavy growing period that is just around the corner.
Try and figure out which kind of weeds (like crabgrass) you struggled with the previous year and find a weed-and-feed that is best suited to your needs.
Weeds: When the soil reaches 55F degrees and stays there for a few days your old pal crabgrass can start to creep up.
You'll want to think about a pre-emergent herbicide. There are a number of options - Tupersan, Dithopyr, and Pendimethalin - with each ranging in terms of cost. Keep in mind that some of those will impact when you are able to plant seed, if that is part of your plan this season.
This is also the time for attacking dandelions when they start to arrive. Whether you spray or tackle them by hand, make sure to get them take care of before they produce seeds.
Raking/Mowing: It sounds like a no-brainer, but cleaning up your lawn in the spring is important to get rid of dead grass and other debris. When your lawn is both thawed and dry, spend some time either with your rake or your bagging mower. Put that mower down to a lower setting and get rid of all the excess yards waste. If you do a good job bagging now you should be able to mulch the rest of the year.
Seeding: Fall is the best time for overseeding, but you may now be noticing pets and/or kids have created a number of unsightly bare spots.
If you go this route, one option is to apply a "starter" fertilizer to those spots. A month or so later you'll want to follow that up with a nitrogen fertilizer. Keep in mind, however, that you won't get the same results as you will if you wait until the fall.
The majority of yard projects can be handled on your own without any outside assistance. But if you have physical limitations or find you are unable to get the desired results, a good idea is to seek out a trained professional.