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Tips for Summer Lawn and Garden Care

White ranch house with beautiful lawn, garden and tree in front yard

Are you ready to prepare your yard for summer? View our infographic for the best summer lawn and garden care, including tips on watering, mowing and what to plant now.

You don’t want to be that neighbor, the one with the overgrown lawn and unkempt garden that make everyone scowl as they drive by. There’s an art to creating a beautiful landscape around your home, but you don’t need to be a professional to do it. All it takes is a little TLC and some know-how.

There are the basics that go into taking care of your home’s landscape, including mowing and watering the grass, weeding, mulching and keeping pests at bay. But there are some things you can do to really damage your yard. Watering too much, for example, could turn your lawn into the Black Lagoon. Not keeping a handle on weeds can quickly escalate to an infestation. And skipping mulch might be depriving your garden of a powerhouse player.

So grab your garden shears, don a pair of work gloves, and get out there and enjoy the summer sunshine while you work your yard. Here are some tips to make your lawn and garden the envy of your neighborhood.

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Summer Lawn & Garden Care Tips

Mow about once a week if it hasn’t rained.

  • Keep your lawn ¾ to 1½ inches high.
  • Allow it to grow one-third of its height before cutting.
  • Don’t cut grass too short! It can lead to disease and weeds.
  • Keep your mower’s blades sharp.

Water every other day.

  • Water in the morning or evening so it won’t evaporate before reaching the roots.
  • Don’t overwater.

Don’t forget the mulch.

  • Mulch keeps weeds at bay, adds nutrients, and prevents runoff and erosion.
  • Use 3 inches or less.
  • Don’t use plastic underneath — it keeps the nutrients from your soil.
  • Buy mulch from a reliable source or it might contain weed seeds.

Whack weeds.

  • If you weed after rain, pull up roots and all.
  • If it’s dry, cut just below the surface.

Plant fast-growing summer veggies, herbs and flowers.

  • In warm areas, growing seasons start earlier and last longer.
  • Try plants that are native to your area.
  • Vegetables: beans, cucumbers, corn and beets
  • Herbs: basil, oregano, thyme and sage
  • Flowers: marigolds, asters, black-eyed Susans, blanket flowers and zinnias

Beat the bugs.

  • Plant these to attract insects that battle pests: coriander, dill, spearmint, garlic, marigolds and yarrow
  • Ladybugs and lacewings will eat aphids, mites, mealybugs and insects.

Clean your tools.

  • Scrub with warm, soapy water. Rinse and air dry.
  • Sand wood handles to smooth rough patches.
  • Oil the wood (but never with petroleum-based oil).

Deadhead.

  • Remove dead and fading blooms to encourage new growth.

Prep for fall.

  • Plant broccoli, carrots, lettuce and spinach in August.
  • These crops mature in a few weeks — and tend to do well in even northern gardens.

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