Skip to main content
All Posts By

Joey Sniadach

Summer Lawn Survival

By Gardening Blog No Comments

Is your lawn looking tired and worn down? Are you seeing more brown and yellow than green? You’re not alone. We can help you bring your lawn back to life even if it seems to have given up. Protecting your lawn from the extreme weather of summer is a challenge but it can be done. Our tips will help you maintain a lush, healthy lawn for you to enjoy and will increase overall curb appeal.

  • Sharpen your mower blades. This is very important, especially in the summer. Cutting with dull blades will cause grass blades to fray. Frayed blades of grass are more susceptible to browning and the development of fungal and other diseases, especially when combined with moisture from dew and rainfall.
  • Mow your lawn weekly, and don’t cut it too short. Keeping your lawn between 3 and 3.5” tall in the summer will encourage deep root development that will help inhibit weed growth. This will also make your lawn less dependent on water.
  • Mow at mid-morning, and only when the grass is dry. This time frame – after the morning dew dries and before the heat of the day sets in – allows sufficient time for the lawn to heal before dew sets in again at nightfall. Wet grass blades tend to bend, which is problematic when mowing, and as mentioned, frayed, or damaged blades of grass are susceptible to disease from moisture.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning, and not on mowing days. A tall fescue lawn requires 1” of water each week to thrive. When a fescue lawn doesn’t receive adequate amounts of water, it’s roots may be weakened. A weakened root system will lead to disease and damage.
  • Apply fertilizer to a freshly mowed, dry lawn every 5-6 weeks. Applying fertilizer to a wet lawn may prevent the nutrients from even distribution. Regarding fertilizer – N-P-K can be better understood when it is read as Up, Down, All-around. Nitrogen (N) promotes green growth (Up); Phosphorus (P) promotes root, fruit, and flower development (Down); Potassium (K) promotes disease and drought tolerance (All-around). We like Espoma Summer Revitalizer for summer lawn care, and other organic Espoma lawn fertilizers throughout the year. Note – Herbicides should not be applied this time of year.
  • Apply grub control treatments as needed. Grubs are pests that weaken and destroy the root system. We like milky spore because it only affects Japanese Beetle Grubs.
  • Treat pet stains in your lawn by deeply watering the affected area within 8 hours of contact.
  • Resist the urge to aerate, dethatch, or overseed your lawn in the summer. Those tasks are best done in the fall.

As always, feel free to contact the experts at Himmel’s Landscape and Garden Center to discuss your specific needs. Whether it’s bringing your tired lawn back to life, starting from scratch with sod, or going lawn-free altogether, we are here to assist! Contact Joey at 410-255-7730 or landscaping@himmelsgardencenter.com to schedule your free consultation today!

Monarch Butterfly Waystation

By Gardening Blog No Comments

Nothing says summer quite like the activity of butterflies in the garden. With their majestic presence and humorous antics, they are a welcome site in the heat. By creating a Monarch Waystation, you could help one of most treasured butterflies.

Planning and installing a butterfly habitat is simple and rewarding. All you have to do is provide them with shelter, food, and water.

Monarch Waystations do have specific requirements for certification with monarchwatch.org. There isn’t a minimum size requirement, but we recommend that they be at least 100 square feet.

It is important that your waystation be installed in an area that receives full sun. Butterflies are most active in full sun.

To provide shelter, be sure that your plants are close together but not crowded. A good rule of thumb is to have your plants 12-18” apart throughout your waystation.

Monarch caterpillars rely on Milkweed Plants, they are their only food source before they become Monarch butterflies. Our team recommends that you plant at least 10 Milkweed Plants to give your Monarch butterflies the best chance of survival. If you offer the Monarchs the four milkweeds that are native to Maryland, we are sure that you’ll have success with creating their new habitat. The four native milkweeds are Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed), Asclepias syriaca (Common milkweed), Asclepias tuberosa (Orange milkweed), and Asclepias verticillata (Whorled milkweed).

Planting a variety of nectar producing plants will serve as the food sources for the Monarchs once they become butterflies.Some favorite flowers of butterflies include Achillea (yarrow), Agastache (hyssop), Baptisia (false indigo), Conoclinium coelestinum (hardy ageratum), Coreopsis verticillata (threadeaf coreopsis), Echinacea (coneflower), Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master), Eutrochium maculatum (Joe Pye weed), Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed), Heleiopsis helianthoides (oxeye sunflower), Liatris spicata (blazing star), Monarda didyma (bergamot), Penstemon digitalis (beardtongue), Pycanthemum muticum (mountain mint), Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed susan), and Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed).