3 Easy Steps to a Lush, Lovely Lawn

Try these quick tips to keep your lawn looking lush this summer.

You take good care of your home, inside and out. And this time of year, that means giving your lawn a little extra TLC—especially if temperatures soar where you live. But having a summer lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood doesn’t take as much work as you may think. Allen Sarhangi, a retired agriculture professor and president of Urban Forest Landscape in Yorba Linda, Calif., offers these essential tips for a healthy lawn this summer.

1. Give it a good soaking

Staying hydrated is just as important for lawns as it is for people. Water needs to soak four to six inches into the soil, which is the depth of the roots. Stick a sharp, hollow pipe at least six inches into the soil, then pull it out to see how deep the water is getting. Don’t overdo it, though. Over-watering is just as bad as under-watering.

2. Skip the brush cuts

Kentucky bluegrass and fescue are two of the most common lawn grasses grown in the U.S. Why? Well, it might just be their easy mowing routine. You only need to remove about one-third of the leaf blade each time you mow. “If you keep your grass tall, you won’t have to water as often because the soil will be shaded,” Sarhangi says. Weekly cuttings in the summer are your best bet. And be sure to keep your lawnmower blades sharp. Otherwise, you’ll tear the grass instead of cutting it, a sure way to wind up with dry spots.

3. Fertilize if you must

Are you left with fine, tiny clippings of grass after you mow? You’re in luck. They’re a natural fertilizer that gives your grass nutrients and helps maintain your lawn’s color and density. If that’s not an option, Sarhangi recommends organic fertilizer because it provides nutrients for a longer period of time. However, it won’t work as fast as high-nitrogen chemical fertilizers.

If you take these three steps this summer to keep your lawn strong and healthy, not only will you beautify your home’s appearance (which increases its curb appeal for future buyers), you’ll earn an additional reward: You’ll be less likely to wind up with weeds.