Keeping your lawn lush and healthy requires appropriate and regular maintenance. This means you have to follow a specific schedule for every step laid out throughout the year in order to remedy or prevent problems like weeds, pests, bald patches, and more.
Remember that seasonal cycles play a crucial role in lawn care. The schedule of tasks that are necessary to maintain your turf depends on the climate in your location. For example, your buddies in Florida may be gearing up for “early spring” mowing in March, but there may still be snow in your yard when you live in the Midwest.
In short, you must first understand the intricacies of seasonal cycles according to your geographic location.
Starting with the months following winter, below is a list of tasks you must do to keep your lawn healthy and the right time to do it, based on recommendations by experts in lawn care in Mason, OH.
The onset of spring is the perfect time to assess the damage the cold season has done on your lawn. One way to discern if the time is right is to check whether it has begun to rain.
After the first spring rainfall, you can start checking your lawn for depressions by looking for puddles around your turf. These may become safety hazards if left unchecked and unfilled once the grass grows high enough to hide them. Too much compaction may also indicate the need for aeration.
Not sure when to do it? Below is a chronological list of tasks you can accomplish in spring:
Dethatching is a process that entails the removal of dead leaves, twigs, branches, grass, and other debris left during the period between the growing season and winter in the previous year. Using vacuums, leaf blowers, power rake, and chippers get rid of thatch that has accumulated. Too much thatch can impede water and nutrients from reaching the soil and may increase the risk of lawn disease.
After clearing out your lawn, the next thing you need to do is use an over-seeder to deal with thin or balding spots in your lawn. This is particularly crucial if you have northern grasses like fescue, rye, and fescue.
3. Check your equipment
Springtime is also the perfect time to ensure that each of your lawn care and gardening tools is in good working condition.
Check whether the mower starts right up or if its battery is fully charged. You might also need to:
- Replace its air filter and spark plug;
- Top up the fluids;
- Fill up the tires; and
- Sharpen the blades.
You also need to perform routine maintenance for your leaf blower according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check if everything else your shovels, rakes, and shears are in good shape or whether it’s time to replace one or more of them.
The bottom line: Make sure that everything is in good shape before the nitty-gritty of lawn maintenance begins.
Aerating is the process of creating growth pockets along the roots of the grass to help it absorb water and fertilizer quicker. It also ensures that the roots have ample space to expand into.
Although aeration can be done for just about any type of soil, it is most recommended for lawns with clay mixed into the soil. It can also remedy heavy compaction.
At this point, the grass in your lawn has already grown to a considerable height. This means that it is time to start mowing.
The recommended mowing height depends on the type of grass you have. However, cutting two to three inches should be enough to discourage weeds while promoting deeper roots and holding in water.
If you’re still unsure, err on the higher side when mowing. The taller the grass, the more photosynthesis it can perform. Tall grasses also tend to have deeper and healthier root systems.
6. Apply herbicide
Prevention is still better than cure when it comes to those nasty weeds that conquer your lawn.
During spring, be sure to apply pre-emergent herbicide to stop the growth of weeds from its onset. Do this before the soil reaches a temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit to effectively prevent crabgrass germination.
May is the ideal time for you to start fertilizing your lawn. During this month, the rapid spring growth will start to slow down, which means the grass needs your help to stay healthy.
For most lawns, no more than one pound of fertilizer should be enough for every 1,000 square feet. Just remember to do this again in September for optimum results.
Also, testing your soil can help you determine the type and amount of fertilizer you can use for your lawn.
Like winter, summer can be a stressful time for your lawn. Make sure that you keep it healthy and hydrated by performing the following tasks at the right time, as recommended by lawn care experts in Fairfield, OH:
Summer is the hottest time of the year, which means you’ll need to hydrate your lawn more than you normally would. As June begins, make sure that you water your lawn every morning, ideally before 8 a.m. Just try to avoid overwatering to prevent fungal growth.
Also, make sure to soak your lawn thoroughly once every week. This is much better than watering a little bit every day. Stick to about three-quarters to one and a half inches per week, and adjust according to the climate.
Mowing is a lawn maintenance task that needs to be done in summer, too. However, you should stick to a taller mowing height during this time of the year.
Ideally, you should only mow a maximum of a third of the grass height. Rather than cutting the grass short, mow more often than you normally would earlier in the year to keep it in check.
10. Control pests
Pest control is another crucial task that needs to be performed to keep your lawn healthy. Apply pesticide for grubs if their population increases to more than nine grubs per square foot.
However, if it doesn’t get to that point, you won’t need to do so since they aren’t likely to cause any damage to the root system.
Timely Maintenance for Optimal Lawn Care
Timing is everything when it comes to lawn care. Make sure that you know what needs to be done at just the right moment to keep your lawn beautifully verdant and healthy.