Landscaping: The Do’s and Dont’s This Summer

When buying your first home, you are buying a lot of things. No, I don’t mean pieces of furniture or appliances. I mean you are buying more than the walls and the roof of your new home. You are buying the landscaping, yard, and plant-life surrounding your new home. Now, in Chicago, you may not be buying a home that has a yard. However, these tips will serve you well for future purchases in maintaining green grass and an awesome curb appeal.

Do: Talk with the shop experts on which fertilizer to use

No one, and I mean no one, likes a brown, patchy lawn. In the summer heat, which we have had plenty of recently, you will want to find the appropriate fertilizer for your grass. Often times, companies will try to simply state that one fertilizer fits all types of grass. Not necessarily, so you will want to talk to your local guy on what type of fertilizer will keep your lawn the greenest in the hottest of times.

Do: Water when it’s right

It could be hot for weeks, and you will want to simply turn on the sprinkler and let the grass soak for about half a day.

The problem with this is that you can actually overwater your lawn, which will lead to the roots dying. Shallow-rooted plants, like grass, can become stressed out due to a lack of oxygen reaching the roots. Overwatering can make the plant more susceptible to disease and insect damage.

Time up your watering habits to occur in the morning as this will help ensure plants stay refreshed during the day.

Do: Plant drought-resistant vegetables

You might not be an okra eater, but planting drought resistant vegetables will help your garden stay vibrant and plentiful all summer long.

Things like sweet potatoes, artichoke, eggplant, rhubarb, swiss chard, peppers, and chickpeas will grow in the driest of climates. If you are looking to have a nice vegetable medley in your garden, plant these crops and harvest them all summer long.

Do: Hedge your bets…I mean hedge your hedge

No one likes an untrimmed hedge line. It looks messy and they can be dangerous for the rest of your landscaping. Bushes that are unkempt can house termites, grow unsightly vines and be a haven for other bugs and vermin.

Don’t: Ignore tree limbs

This is a huge deal in Chicago as little space exists between homes and trees. With thunderstorms more prevalent during the summer months, be sure to trim your trees and keep weaker, older limbs from crashing down on power lines or your house.

Don’t: Only water the surface

Plants have roots and sometimes these roots can run deep into the ground. Only watering the surface of the ground with plants like this will end up hurting them more than helping them. So, for shrubs and trees be sure to give them a good soak as this will leave the plants healthier and live a better life.

Don’t: Start something you can’t finish

If you are going to start something in the landscape world, you better finish it. No one likes a half-finished flower bed or somewhat completed garden. Not only are these eyesores, but they can leave an opportunity for pests and vermin to take hold. Likewise, weeds can form in the unfinished spots, so be sure to finish what you start.

Don’t: Overkill landscaping

Hey, listen. I like landscaping as much as the next person, but there is a tendency to overkill the landscaping. Be sure to space out projects and let areas grow in before deciding to add a hedge, flower bed and tree in the front yard. Maintain your landscaping with the tips above, and you should have a great looking yard for summer parties and family events.

Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson is a writer, researcher, editor, and publishing consultant with a decade of learning in the field. For Truepad she covers real estate trends and develops knowledge base articles that help people learn about the process of buying as they’re looking for a home. She went through the process herself two years ago and is a proud homeowner in Logan Square.

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