PRODUCTION

Summer Lawn Care with Mike Darcy


June 18, 2022

There is something soothing and refreshing to visit a garden during the summer months and see a lawn that has been worked into a garden setting. On a warm summer day, just seeing a healthy green lawn can create a calming and often cooling feeling. While the lawn may give this feeling, it is not without some care and effort on the part of the homeowner.

View of backyard with green lawn and wood shed in summer

Just as with blooming summer flowers, hanging baskets, roses, potted plants, etc., there is some effort involved in keeping them healthy. It does not just miraculously happen! Having a beautiful lawn is no exception.

JB Lawn Intelligent Lawn Repair, 3.75 lb.

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Scotts Whirl Handheld Spreader

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I think that it would be impossible to give exacting lawn care instructions for every area that Wilco has a store. There are so many variables to consider; sun/shade issues, drainage, soil texture, soil fertility, tree roots, traffic, type of seed, summer temperatures, watering practices, fertilization, mowing, and the list could go on. Even lawns in the same neighborhood may have very different requirements.

Poly Push/Pull Lawn Roller, 18 in. X 24 in.

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EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun & Shade

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sprinkler wating green grass next to stone path

Adequate watering in the summer is a key issue in keeping a lawn green. Most turf grasses are shallow rooted and summer irrigation will be necessary to keep it green.

Home lawns in western Oregon tend to be perennial rye or at least have some perennial rye in the mix. Perennial rye generally requires one-quarter to one-half inch of water about twice a week. The best time to water is in the early morning. If in July, your lawn is green and looking like you want it to, whatever you are doing is working as it should, so continue the same routine.

sprinkler watering lawn in backyard

Check sprinklers on a regular basis to be certain they are working. Be especially aware of corners and edges of a lawn because these areas can dry out quickly. Adequate watering in the summer is a key issue in keeping a lawn green.

Turf Builder Rapid Grass Sun & Shade Mix with Fertilizer

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close up view of lawnmower on grass

A general rule for mowing is to not remove more than one third of the leaf at any one time. If you are maintaining your lawn at two inches, mow before it gets over three inches. If your mower has a mulching feature, this is an excellent way to add some organic material back into the soil and can help reduce irrigation needs. Grass clippings do contain minor amounts of fertilizer. If you bag your lawn clippings and if weed killer has not been used on the lawn, use these bagged clippings in your compost pile.

To keep a lawn green all summer, in addition to irrigation, it is probably going to need to be fertilized. Nitrogen is the element that it will need the most and it is the first of three numbers on all fertilizer products.

Scotts Turf Builder 26003A Triple Action Fertilizer,4K

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Most lawn fertilizers will have nitrogen as the highest number with the other two numbers, phosphorus, and potassium, considerably less. Over the past few years, I have become an advocate of having soil tested to learn what fertilizer product needs to be added, or not added. I purchased a Wilco Soil Test Kit and was surprised to see some of the results. The phosphorus level in my soil was extremely high and there was certainly no need to apply a fertilizer that would add more. Therefore, I look for a fertilizer with a zero as the middle number.

To keep a lawn green and healthy during the summer season, it is probably going to need at least one application of a fertilizer. When making a decision as to whether to use a synthetic fertilizer or an organic one, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Wilco 25-0-15 Slow Release Long Green Northwest Fertilizer Blend

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For a synthetic fertilizer, the nitrogen should probably be 15 or higher. It can be challenging to find an organic fertilizer with a high nitrogen number but both blood meal and feather meal have a level of about 12. If using either of these, be sure to get a pelleted or granulated form. A synthetic fertilizer will act quickly, and results will probably be visible in a few days whereas organic fertilizers usually have a slower and often unpredictable release. Regardless of the fertilizer that is used, be sure to water thoroughly after application.

Having a green lawn is not difficult as is apparent when driving through neighborhoods. By trial and error, you will learn what is best for your particular lawn. Once again, I must say, a soil test can be extremely helpful.

Wilco Premium Soil Test Kit

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We would love to see your lush lawn, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.


MIKE’S GARDEN IS LOCATED IN OREGON’S WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND HIS ADVICE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MILD CLIMATE THERE.
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