September 23, 2016

Summer is the time to sit back and enjoy your yard, but you also need to keep on top of cleanup and basic maintenance chores to ensure it looks its best. The key to a great looking lawn is to have a thorough understanding of what seasonal cleanup is required. The following guide can keep you on top of your landscaping chores.

Clear the Thatch

Natural stone landscaping in home rose gardenThatch build-up occurs on Ann Arbor MI lawns due to the collection of organic matter on top of the soil. Most of the grasses used in the area are cool season grasses, which means they tend to go dormant when the temperatures rise in mid-summer. This can lead to dead grass and stems forming a thick layer on top of the soil, called thatch, which prevents water and oxygen from
seeping into the ground. Seasonal cleanup of the thatch is necessary as the grass resumes growth in late summer, following a system similar the following:

  1. Mow the lawn low – to about half the usual height – before beginning.
  2. Flag the location of any sprinkler heads so you don’t damage them.
  3. Using a dethatching rake, pull the rake across the lawn to lift the thatch layer up. For severe thatch you can rent a power rake.
  4. After removing the thatch in one direction, repeat the process at a 90 degree angle to the first pass to ensure all of the thatch is lifted and removed.

Rake Up Storm Debris

Summer thunderstorms are a normal issue in Ann Arbor MI, which can lead to small twigs, branches, and leaves strewn all over the lawn. Not only is this unattractive, it can also lead lawn mold growth as moisture collects underneath the fallen debris.

Rake up all fallen detritus after each storm. This is also a good time to look up and check out the canopy of the trees on your property. If you notice dead or damaged wood, go ahead and cut it out. Although most tree pruning occurs in early spring, you can clean out dead and damaged wood at any time.

SKiller Weedstay On Top of Weed Management

Seasonal cleanup of weeds can really ramp up during the summer months. This is because weeds tend to go through a flush of growth as the temperatures rise and garden irrigation becomes consistent. The following can help you manage the weeds throughout the summer and into fall:

  • Maintain edging around garden beds. This means keeping the edges mowed or trimmed low, as well as removing any weeds or grasses promptly that begin to encroach.
  • Use landscape fabric or plastic over the soil in garden beds to keep down weeds. When switching out summer annuals for the spring annuals, plant into the same holes that are already cut in the weed fabric so weeds don’t begin growing through empty slots.
  • Apply a mid-summer fertilizer as your lawn comes out of dormancy that contains weed herbicide. This will keep weeds from overtaking the lawn.
  • When weeding, dispose of any weeds that have begun to set seed. If you try to compost them, the seeds may survive the process and then later get spread back onto the lawn or garden bed.

Summer lawn care and cleanup in Ann Arbor MI is key to having a beautiful landscape as you enter the late summer and fall months. Fortunately, much of your lawn’s needs are simply maintenance level, so you will still have plenty of time to enjoy the lazy days of summer.