How to maintain a healthy summer lawn

In the summertime, lawn care takes precedence over other household chores. In fact, during these warmer months, Americans devote almost 20 minutes per day to tending their lawns, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found. Many spend these moments implementing meticulous grass-growing strategies designed to yield the straightest, most verdant blades imaginable.

Unfortunately, nature rarely cooperates and crushes the dreams of even the most studied lawn cultivators. If you're one of these often defeated growers, consider switching up your strategy. To get started, review some of these essential summer lawn care tips:

Fertilize and seed with care
The luscious green lawns on those magazine covers you gawk at while checking out at the home improvement store are products of carefully crafted fertilization and seeding schemes. Luckily, with a little research and work, these strategies are easy to replicate.

First, you should find a fertilizer blend that melds with your grass type, Today Home suggested. Once you've picked your preferred feed, purchase a spreader and get to work. Lawn care experts advise homeowners to fertilize only once or twice per year. This schedule will save you from addressing the over-growth that comes along with constant feeding and enable you to hold onto cash you'd normally spend filling up the mower or buying more fertilizer. Plus, longer grass blades grow deeper roots and block evaporation, preventing water from leaving the soil. You'll end up using less water – a savings that will most certainly improve your home's energy efficiency.

Some homeowners replace their lawns with landscaping features or paved walkways.Some homeowners replace their lawns with landscaping features or paved walkways.

Perform mower maintenance
Many lawn aficionados put a lot of thought into how they feed their lawns but rarely consider the tools they use to trim them. This careless methodology doesn't normally result in luscious grass, as mower maintenance directly correlates to overall lawn health. 

Before you slice a single blade, make sure your mower is ready to roll. Drain the gas tank and oil pan to remove any overly viscous fluid capable of causing engine damage. After replacing these fluids, swap out the spark plug and clean the air filter.

Next, move onto the actual cutting components. Obviously, be very careful when handling your mower blade – even dull ones can send you to the hospital if you're not careful. Remove the blade and send it off for sharpening, Scotts advised. Blunted blades shred grass and produce mangled blade tops that quickly turn brown. Additionally, adjust your mower height. After trimming, grass should be between 2 and 3.74 inches tall, Michigan State University reported.

Water wisely
Most lawns require 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week, Consumer Reports found. Of course, that doesn't mean you need to turn your sprinklers on full blast for hours at a time. Instead, keep track of the weather and hold off on days you expect rainfall. Again, this will save you an immense amount of water and reduce your utility bills.

"Morning watering sessions give lawns time to dry before nightfall."

When you do need to water, set out your equipment between 5 and 10 a.m. During this window, the sun is at its lowers point, meaning your precious tap water won't be instantly evaporated. Plus, early morning watering sessions give lawns ample time to dry before nightfall when harmful, moisture-hungry funguses appear.

Consider alternatives
If you're tired of maintaining your problematic lawn, you might consider reducing its size. Many homeowners replace large swaths of grass-covered ground with gardens, patios or trees, all of which require less work. For instance, flower beds are better at holding in moisture and can survive with only periodic maintenance. Plus, landscaped areas also improve home energy efficiency, the Department of Energy discovered. Some studies show that they reduce air conditioning costs by as much as 75 percent.

With these tips in mind, carefully consider your options and decide the best strategy for defying mother nature.