Knowing when to fertilize or mow can help your yard maintenance all year round. A lawn care schedule will vary depending on where you live. Early spring in Illinois may start much later than in Florida. Despite climate differences, yard maintenance can follow a similar schedule with adjustments for when spring starts. Read on for a basic lawn care schedule.
Lawn care seems to start for most people in the early spring when the grass starts to look green again. Get a good start on yard maintenance in the spring with these lawn maintenance tips:
- Prepare your lawn mower. Start the season right by sharpening your mower blades and making sure everything is working and ready when you want to cut your grass.
- Clean the yard. Use your rake to remove dead grass and any other debris in your yard. This process is called “dethatching” and prepares your yard for the necessary lawn treatment.
- Aerate your lawn. One of the spring staples of yard maintenance is to aerate. For cool-season grasses, the best time for aeration is the early spring. For warm-season grasses, the best time to aerate is in the late spring.
- Begin mowing high. As you start mowing for the season, make sure you mow on the highest setting for your type of grass. Mowing high keeps your grass slightly longer, which helps the grass stay healthier and develop stronger root systems.
- Fertilize your lawn. Our lawn fertilizer schedules suggest the first time to fertilize is in late spring. Feeding your lawn strengthens the grass and can prevent future weed growth. Lawn Doctor offers fertilization plans that will take care of the lawn treatments for you and ease your lawn maintenance stress.
Summer is the peak of yard maintenance. Here are lawn maintenance tips for the summer:
- Water the correct amount. Your lawn needs an inch of water each week. If you live in an area where you get that much rain each week, you don’t need to worry about irrigating. If you live in a drier area, make sure your sprinklers are watering your lawn enough. Also try to water between 6am and 10am to minimize evaporation. It’s also better to soak your lawn one day a week than to water a little each day.
- Fertilize. For your lawn fertilizer schedule, the next time to fertilize is 6 to 8 weeks after the initial lawn treatment.
- Treat for grubs. If you’ve had a grub problem before or your neighbor is having a problem, make sure you’re treating for grubs at the right time. Time your lawn treatment for early summer right before the eggs hatch.
Fall is for more than just clean-up lawn maintenance. It’s time to prepare your grass and soil for next year.
- Fertilize. Lawn maintenance and fertilizing doesn’t end in the summer. For cool-season grasses, fertilize twice in the fall to take advantage of the great growing conditions. Fertilize once around the beginning of September and then once more 6 to 8 weeks later. For warm-season grasses, only fertilize once.
- Reseed if necessary. If the summer heat has thinned your grass, mid-fall is the perfect time to reseed those thin areas.
- Finish mowing. Continue mowing right up until your grass becomes dormant. At the end of the season, it doesn’t matter as much if you mow high, so you can cut low to prevent having to mow the length in the spring.
Some people forget winter in their lawn care schedules because the grass is dormant. Even though you won’t need to mow or water, there are a couple of yard maintenance strategies to help keep your yard healthy:
- Take care of dormant grass. Even in the winter, it’s important to care for your lawn. Try to limit traffic on your lawn, and don’t park or store anything on your grass. Also, make sure that you’re not using damaging ice melter. Sodium chloride can damage the roots, so try to find ice melt with calcium chloride instead.
- Plan for next season. Start the next season right by preparing your individual lawn care schedule and coming up with solutions for last year’s challenges.