OYO: Summer lawn and landscape care

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In today's Owning Your Outdoors we have tips for maintaining your lawn and landscape in the heat of summertime.

Our yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis, says that when it comes to your lawn, try to avoid mowing when it's really hot. Keep your lawn at least two-and-a-half inches long. Letting your grass grow longer helps it retain moisture. Also, never remove more than one third of the blade of grass when you mow. Doug says mulching is best in the summer. It puts nutrients back into the soil and helps retain moisture.

Doug says that when watering your lawn, you need about an inch of moisture per week. When you water, water long and deep and less often.

When fertilizing, Doug says late June early July is about as late as you want to go. After that, you should wait until it cools off in the fall. You do not want to promote lawn growth in the extreme mid summer heat. With all the rain that we've had lately, we do not need a lot of nitrogen in our yards right now, so Doug suggest using Green Max or other fertilizer that has more iron and less nitrogen.

Summer is a great time to spray for weeds. As a general rule, however, do not apply weed killer when temperatures exceed 85 degrees. Check the label of the product you are using for any temperature use restrictions. Also, be aware of the difference between selective and non-selective herbicides. Selective herbicide will kill weeds but not grass. Non selective herbicide will kill everything.

As temperatures rise, your plants and landscape will need plenty of moisture. On long, hot summer days you may have to water your containers at least once, maybe even twice per day. Doug suggests putting cypress mulch in your containers and in your landscape to help retain moisture. Put a layer of one to two inches (never more than three inches) of mulch on your landscape.