Midwest Landscape Industries


The MLI Weekly Blog

Summer Yard Care

Summer Yard Care

Your Complete 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.

Keep The Lawn Green

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, 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 - call a professional for an estimate on how to keep your yard and garden low-maintenance and beautiful.

Tune Up Your Lawn Mower

Let's assume you do want a nice lawn. No matter how faithfully you follow the advice in Task #1, lawn maintenance will be a major hassle unless your lawn mower is running properly. Instructions are provided here for the do-it-yourselfer to perform a lawn mower tune-up.

According to manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, a tune-up can increase fuel economy by a third, extend the life of the engine, reduce repair costs and decrease emissions by up to 50 percent.

The three main components involved in a mower tune-up are the air filter, spark plug and oil, all of which must be changed. The needed parts and supplies can be found at home centers and hardware stores.

Mole & Vole Control

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 - here is a handy guide to help identify.

The most effective control for moles is to cut off the food supply. Using a grub treatment for a lawn is a common practice. Systemic grub treatments that contain imidacloprid as an active ingredient can be applied to the lawn area in May. These are available in ready-to-spray, hose-end sprayers or granular formulations. Granular products are easier to apply, but be sure to irrigate with at least ½ inch of water immediately after application. Because these products are systemic within the turfgrass, they will last the entire growing season. Granular grub killers that contain trichlorfon or carbaryl are contact insecticides that should be applied in early July and are spread over the lawn and watered in well. At this time, the grubs are small and close to the surface, so the contact insecticide will be very effective in eradicating the young grubs. This will last for about two weeks. Application in the late summer or fall is not as effective, as the older grubs will go deeper in the soil and are harder to kill. Neither of these methods are completely successful, as the moles will switch to other prey, such as earthworms and other insects.

As a more environmentally friendly but temporary solution to a mole infestation, consider an application of castor oil to the lawn. It is available as a spray or in a granular form and will repel moles and voles for about two weeks.

Automatic Irrigation

Most residential and commercial property owners use excessive amounts of water to keep their grass and landscape green and fresh, costing them more money than necessary.

Watering systems are more efficient than any other form of watering. No more watering sidewalks or missing patches of green turf! An irrigation system will put the exact amount of water, in the exact spots, exactly when it is needed.

You get the balance and consistency that hoses and movable sprinklers can’t. Your lawn is a reflection of you, so put in a dependable watering system and let your lawn shine.

Irrigation Benefits

Installing a watering system helps transform your grass into the green, beautiful, healthy lawn you always wanted. Lawn irrigation systems are the most efficient way to ensure your yard gets the hydration it needs without over-watering.

Save Time: Irrigation systems work on their own, so no more wasting time manually watering. Now you have more time to do the things you love, while your lawn gets what it needs to thrive.

Save Money: The benefits of an irrigation system outweigh the initial cost of the system, which will pay for itself sooner than you think.

Save Water: Installing an irrigation system can conserve water while maintaining a healthy landscape.

Plant Drought-Tolerant Perennials in Sunny Areas

Of course, other plants besides 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.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite easy going, easy-growing drought-tolerant annuals to get you started, but you’ll want to check the garden center for gorgeous new varieties for fast, fill-in color, texture and style that lasts all summer:

Dragon-Wing Begonia

Dragon-Wing Begonia

  • Zinnias

  • Purselane

  • Sunimpatiens

  • Wave Petunias

  • Dragon Wing Begonia

  • Lantana

And let’s not forget succulents, our hands-down favorite when it comes to unconventional shape and modern style. These annuals are exceptionally easy to grow with good drainage and plenty of light (not necessarily direct and full afternoon sun), are very forgiving when it comes to low water and drought conditions and can be overwintered inside.

And for perennials that will make the cut in the summer sun and all year long in Indiana, some of our personal favorites:

Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower

  • Russian Sage

  • Sedum

  • Achillea Yarrow

  • Gaillardia

  • Lavender

  • Purple Coneflower

  • Day Lillies

Get Ready for Fall Plantings

Fall is a great time to plant both vegetables and flowers! Check out some of our favorite fall flowers:

Naked Lady

Naked Lady

  • Blue Mist

  • Sedums

  • Chrysanthemums

  • Lycrois “Surprise” Lilies - AKA “Naked Lady”

  • Japanese Anemones

Fall is an excellent time to grow many vegetable crops in Indiana when the gardener can take advantage of cooler temperatures and more plentiful moisture. Many spring-planted crops, such as radishes, lettuce and spinach, tend to bolt (produce seed) and become bitter in response to long, hot summer days. Fall gardening helps extend your gardening season so that you can continue to harvest produce after earlier crops have faded.

Some vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, are better adapted to fall gardening since they produce best quality and flavor when they can mature during cooler weather. In Indiana, spring tends to heat up rather quickly. For many crops, insect and disease pests are not as much of a problem in fall plantings.

As always, if you need any assistance getting your dream yard started, give us a call at Midwest Landscape Industries for a free consult at 317-672-3788.