We have had a crazy spring and summer this year here in Chicagoland. Spring was practically nonexistent with extremely cold temperatures with a lot of rain. Then summer appeared with a vengeance. We went from 50 to 90 degrees within 10 days. Since we planted so late, everything is just getting established. Now it’s time to assess everything in the yard.
With all the rain, the weeds are going crazy. It’s so much easier to pull them after it rains when the soil is soft. It also makes it easier to pull the entire root out. The more weed roots we get out, the less we’ll have growing back. If the soil is dry, make weeding easier by using a hoe or a sod cutter to slice underneath the soil.
Trim bushes and hedges, cutting any inside branches that have no foliage at the ground. Refresh all the mulch around the yard. Add a fresh inch if needed to raise to two inches. Keep mulch clear of trunks and stems a few inches to discourage insects.
Lawns could use some fertilizer; the spring application will have done its’ job. Water it in well. Just because it has rained a lot, doesn’t mean we don’t need to water; especially when it is extremely hot. An inch a week is needed in both lawn and garden. The garden can use some fertilizer too.
Edge around all the beds and lawn for a crisp appearance. Use a half moon cutter. Keep the grass even at the edge by turning your weed eater sideways. If you have bare spots in your landscape, fill in with containers of flowers. Many are on sale now at the garden center. Do remember they may need to be watered frequently. You can also use watering crystals that will hold water.
Do a good check all around the exterior of the house. Make sure there is no water puddling near the foundation. Free flowing gutters and clean outside drains should assure that water stays away, but with two months of rain nearly every day can wreak havoc on even the best drainage systems.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO