Mow, Plant, Grow; Tips and Tricks to Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

Spring has sprung and summer is fast approaching. Homeowners and landscape crews alike are busy cleaning, shopping, and installing new plant material. Are you a proud yard owner, or do you fall into the “it’s better left unspoken” category? Planting beds and lawn can require so much maintenance and upkeep, so between work and busy schedules – it can be hard to find the time. Or maybe you just don’t know where to start! As a landscape architect and long-time plant enthusiast, I’m here to share my tips and tricks to get your yard ready for summer!

Lawn Care

When it comes to lawns, my husband’s favorite word is “pre-emergent.” Buy a granular and spread it in late winter while your lawn is still dormant. This will inhibit the growth of weeds before they even start, making your job much easier when spring kicks in. You can repeat the process in late spring and fall as well.

If you have Bermuda grass, you’ll want to lower that mower deck and scalp it. This will take off the dead and provide room for new growth. Next, you’ll want to fertilize your lawn; a 10-10-10 fertilizer is best, contrary to what you may see from the brand names. The three numbers represent NPK: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All the big box stores carry lawn fertilizers that don’t contain phosphorous, but this is actually a vital element for a healthy lawn. If you can’t find an NPK fertilizer at Lowe’s or Home Depot, try Amazon. Lastly, be sure and fertilize your lawn when temperatures are below 90 degrees. You’ll also want to water it in afterwards to prevent burning, whether with your sprinkler system (so be mindful of your watering day) or the hose. 

If you’re a lawn connoisseur like my husband, try a liquid fertilizer or cut your lawn at a diagonal to add curb appeal. Check out this How to with Doc video on YouTube for a deep-dive into lawn care.

Plants

If you haven’t yet cut back any plants that died in the freeze, now is the time! Most plants are perennials and will grow back, however, if it’s an annual or the freeze was just too hard, be sure to remove it.

If you’re looking for new plants, we love Millbergers and Rainbow Gardens. They both have excellent inventory, helpful employees, and great prices! Be sure and check to see if you’re planting in sun or shade, as this will dictate what will grow. If butterflies are your thing, check out Haeley’s article on how to attract butterflies to your yard!

If you’re looking for deer resistant plants, check out my go-to list here. It’s worth remembering, though, that if the deer are hungry enough, many plants can still be in jeopardy. And in case you were wondering, absolutely nothing is goat proof. Ask me how I know!

Low Maintenance

As someone who meets with lots of homeowners, the two word request I hear every time is “low maintenance.” Pretty much everyone wants native, low maintenance planting. And I get it! You don’t want to be servant to your yard. If higher maintenance gardening sounds like something you’re interested in, be sure to check your water usage first. Do you have irrigation, or do you use it? If not, stick with native plants that are drought tolerant. If your plant beds do get a lot of water from an irrigation system (at least, when the aquifer allows it!) it will most likely kill anything that is drought tolerant. So plan to scale back your usage or go with something that can handle a bit more water.

Call an Expert

Last but not least, if you have a space that you just have no idea what to do with, call an expert! You may see a blank space, but we see a world of opportunities and ways to make that space function for you. This is a great time to get a plan in place in order to get your yard ready for summer! We provide free consultations and create a design that is suited to your needs, while also providing a functional and useable space. Check out our work at landlochstudio.com, and receive a 10% discount by quoting “Alamo City Moms!”

Miranda Martin
A true south Texas native with a brief stint in Lubbock and DFW, Miranda is happily settled just outside of San Antonio. Not one to sit around at home, she is constantly on the go, with a coffee in hand! No matter where her daily activities take her, her two boys Nash (2019) and Lochlan (2022) are usually in tow. She is happily married to a wonderful, dad-joke-filled husband, who she runs a Landscape Architecture firm with. Miranda and her husband, Jordan, both have bachelors degrees in Landscape Architecture from Texas Tech University, go Red Raiders! When she is home, she spends her time tending to the small farm they’ve accumulated, coming up with more projects for the to do list, and all things homemaking. She lives for an evening escape to La Frite, loves the Floresville Peanut Festival, and is absolutely fascinated by the rich history of the San Antonio Missions.