Your Complete Summer Yard Care To-Do List

The summertime months are a time for beaches and backyard hammocks. But let this summer checklist for yard care serve as a reminder that there is still plenty of landscape maintenance to be done during this period. Performing these ten tasks of yard care effectively and efficiently will help ensure the safety of you and your property, save you money and free you up for the finer pursuits in life.

  • 01 of 09

    Keep the Lawn Green

    Healthy green grass
    David Beaulieu

    The demands of lawn maintenance can be a constant nuisance. And if your grass should die, it can be costly to replace. Learn how to achieve peace of mind by applying lawn fertilizers on a schedule. You'll also save time and energy by practicing effective weed control, having the right mower and using that mower properly. To begin, I look at selecting grass types, watering lawns and a rather unpleasant aspect of yard care: removing thatch.

    Incidentally, if you find all of this off-putting (especially the idea of using chemical lawn fertilizers), maybe you'd like to dispense with the lawn (at least on some portions of your property) altogether and start a garden from scratch. If so, the first step would be to learn how to get rid of grass.

  • 02 of 09

    Tune up Your Lawn Mower

    Lawn mower and grass

    Sean Hobson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Let's assume you do want a nice lawn. No matter how faithfully you follow the advice above, lawn maintenance will be a major hassle unless your lawnmower is running properly. Instructions are provided here for the do-it-yourselfer to perform a lawn mower tune-up. A lawnmower tune-up consists of three easy steps.

  • 03 of 09

    Control Moles and Voles

    A vole on wood

    Peter Freitag / EyeEm / Getty Images

    You may want a great-looking lawn, but your mole and vole neighbors may have other ideas altogether. If you want to have things your way, then you need to stop the moles and voles. A positive identification is the first step, as moles and voles look rather similar to the untrained eye. Moles can be trapped, poisoned or discouraged with repellents. Repellents include the malodorous plants described in this article.

  • 04 of 09

    Automatically Irrigate

    Sprinkler watering a lawn
    David Beaulieu

    Drought is another enemy of lawns. Some erroneously think irrigation systems are a wasteful component in lawn maintenance. But it depends on how you program them. The frugal can save money on their water bills in the long run through watering lawns with irrigation systems, if they ensure the settings are at their most efficient. And there's no question irrigation promotes easier yard care.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Plant Drought-Tolerant Perennials in Sunny Areas

    Bluebeard flower
    David Beaulieu

    Of course, other plants beside your grass have water needs, too. To make your life easier, make sure that your sunny areas are planted with plants that are meant to take a lot of sun. Use plants that can stand up to hot, dry conditions and you can achieve a low-maintenance landscape that still looks appealing, providing plenty of flower color. Discover some examples of plants that resist drought and follow my links to research their characteristics and growing needs.

  • 06 of 09

    Plant Shade-Tolerant Plants in Shady Areas

    Pink dogwood flower
    David Beaulieu

    Do you have a shady spot on your property that always looks bare, because nothing you plant there seems to like all that shade? Unlike the plants in Task #5, some plants do thrive in the shade. Don't let those shady spots on your landscape go bare another year: plant them with shade-tolerant plants. Shop around this summer for shade plants you like, then plant them after the worst of the August heat has subsided.

  • 07 of 09

    Control Mosquitos

    Garden torches

    Jaxbeachaddict / Twenty20

    You are not helpless against West Nile virus. Use mosquito repellents when you work outside. More importantly, gear your yard care to mosquito control: take away breeding habitats for mosquitoes. That means common-sense sanitation, plus yard care to eliminate areas where water would puddle. Read this mosquito control article for reminders of some unlikely sources of standing water.

  • 08 of 09

    Control Ticks

    Burkwood Daphne plant

    Andrey Zharkikh / Flickr / CC by 2.0

    Unfortunately, there's more than West Nile virus and mosquitoes to worry about when engaging in yard care. There's also Lyme disease and ticks. One method of addressing this danger is spraying to kill ticks. But because Lyme disease is spread specifically by deer ticks (which, in turn, are spread by deer), another tack you can take is to limit deer incursions, thereby limiting deer tick infestations, as well.

    To achieve this, plant deer-resistant plants. If the deer don't come to eat, there's that much less chance of your being bitten by a deer tick. Planting deer-resistant plants also saves you money, lest your garden becomes deer-food.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Preparation for Fall Plantings

    Marigold plant

    Taco Witte / Flickr / CC by 2.0

    Don't wait till fall to think about displaying fall color on your property. You need to plan for fall color in the summertime--and act! As described in this article, your first act should be to get annuals on the cheap and nurse them along till fall arrives. The article also explores plant choices for fall color, as well as how to arrange the plants.