Just because it’s summer that doesn’t mean your yard can be left to its own devices. In fact the summer can be an excellent time to take some simple steps to keep your property looking sharp, neat and orderly.

The hot days of summer are the time that if you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning the system will be put to the test. If you’re home air conditioning condenser has any form of growth around it, such as grass or bushes keep them trimmed to allow the system to draw air and work efficiently.

Do a check around the yard and if any of your older trees have dead or damaged branches the summer is a good time to cut them away. Another benefit of keeping plants that are in proximity to your home trimmed is that these bushes and flowerbeds are one of the few well watered sections of the yard. During the heat of summer the mere presence of water might be enough to draw ants, termites or other insects, pests that you don’t want discovering your home.

Speaking of pests, of the human variety, law enforcement always maintain that it is safer to keep hedges, bushes and trees trimmed and orderly to remove hiding places or other dark corners for burglars, graffiti vandals or other undesirables who might be snooping around your home. Making your home bright and viewable from the street might be enough to motivate a criminal to look for easier opportunities elsewhere.

While the classic image of the ivy covered cottage might look good in a Victorian novel, those same trailing creepers are a natural highway for insects to access your home. Vines are also known for trapping moisture against the side of the house, which could encourage rot or other water damage such as peeled paint or could even under extreme circumstances damage the mortar between bricks if part of the design.

If you’re like most people the most noticeable part of your property is the lawn. In the summer watering restrictions, like the severe ones imposed last summer, could play havoc in terms of trying to keep it green and lush. To grow best grass requires cool air and plenty of rain – two commodities in short supply during the summer. While watering is allowed presently make use of the opportunity.

Lawn care experts say a lawn requires at least one full inch of water per week to remain healthy. Unless you have a rain gauge to measure the water, place an empty tuna fish can on the lawn when doing your watering. As a rule of thumb once the can is full, the lawn is properly watered. To get the most of your limited summer watering always water the lawn in the cool of the early morning to prevent the precious fluid from evaporating.

In the event of a full blown restriction on watering, as was imposed last year, just let the lawn go brown. Grass is an incredibly tough and resilient plant capable of enduring hardships that would wipe out most other species. One certainty is no matter how dry and brown it goes during the summer you are guaranteed to see it come back to its old vibrant self once the cooler, damper days of fall return.