The best schedule for your lawn care depends on what you want to accomplish.
If your goal is to have the greenest grass possible, you might choose a different schedule than one that wants low-maintenance turfgrass that nitrogen requirements are minimal.
There are many ways to care for your lawn, and it all depends on the time of year. If you mow more than once a week in the summer, you may be doing more harm than good. When grass is exposed to too much sunlight, it will turn brown instead of its normal green color.
Also, cutting the grass when it’s dry can damage the leaves and lead to disease or fungus growth later on. Another important thing to consider is that weeds grow faster than grass; therefore, if you water or fertilize your lawn while weed control is needed (usually around mid-April), you’ll encourage their growth.
We can provide a few key suggestions that are applicable to most lawn care situations. These tips will not only promote healthy turfgrass but be sure they are properly scheduled to avoid common pitfalls of improper mowing practices and overuse of fertilizer.
Mow at the highest recommended height depending on the variety of turfgrass planted in your lawn. Taller grass shades roots, minimizes weeds, and promotes deeper rooting. A deeper root system is less susceptible to drought stress or heat damage, which will reduce the need for water.
A shorter lawn requires less maintenance, but more frequent mowing. Mow when the grass is dry and never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade during one cutting or you will weaken your turf.
Mowing your lawn at 2″ will promote deeper roots and more drought-resistant grass plants which means less water usage. If you mow your lawn at 1½” you will use more water, but be able to mow it 3-4 times (and spend more money) per year.
Always leave clippings on the lawn for at least 4-6 weeks after each cut. This provides fertilizer, helps decompose thatch, and reduces weed pressure by preventing sunlight from reaching weeds.
Mulching mowers are best because they leave a uniform surface even in low-growing cool-season grasses like fescue, bentgrass, and ryegrass varieties. If you have Bermuda grass, use a high-quality power rake to remove any excess clippings so the grass blade lies flat on the soil surface.
Water deeply and infrequently. Watering high-maintenance turfgrass in 1-2″ increments every five days will ensure deep root penetration without overwatering or wasting water.
A soaker hose is best for this application, but if you must use sprinklers, try to avoid long periods of time where large amounts of water are applied at one time (i.e., set nozzles to emit just enough water to cover the area being watered rather than whole lawn).
More frequent light watering is preferable to less frequent heavy watering because it promotes deeper rooting.
In most cases, fertilizing your lawn is not necessary except for special needs situations such as newly seeded lawns or overseeding. If you do decide to fertilize, use slow-release, low nitrogen fertilizers such as organic or polymer-coated urea.
Do not apply more than 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 ft2 (10,000 sq ft) and only once every 4 months depending on how many times you mow per month.
|Fertilizer Formula||How Much to Get One Pound of Nitrogen|
|14-3-6||6 to 7 pounds|
Fertilizing should be done in the early spring to promote new growth. We prefer using Ferti-Lome Liquid Lawn Food because it does not burn plants, contains slow-release nitrogen, and is easy to use.
Choose a spreader that has an adjustable applicator so you can adjust how much fertilizer goes onto your lawn for this purpose.
Use mulch for soil erosion control and weed suppression around trees and shrubs. Make sure the layer of mulch is at least 3 inches deep so it can trap moisture before reaching the soil surface below.
Organic matter in the presence of sunlight breaks down rapidly causing loss of this critical element in turfgrass growth. Keeping your lawn thick with annual applications of compost will reduce this decomposition rate giving your lawn added density and color.
Weeds can be controlled with spot spraying or spot treating with chemicals. Good organic weed control is corn gluten meal. It’s a by-product of processing corn for food and contains natural enzymes that kill grassy weeds as they germinate.
When applied correctly during the offseason, about 25 lbs spread evenly over 1000 square feet should last for 8 months before needing reapplication. For small jobs around flowerbeds or trees.
Soil test kits are available at local hardware stores and garden centers to determine nutrient levels in your soil. If you live near a university or other college, they often will do free soil tests for the public.
If your soil is deficient in potassium (K) or phosphorus (P), add bonemeal, rock phosphate, or wood ash to raise the pH level of your soil. You can add lime if you need to lower the pH levels. For lawns with clay-like soils, add sand when preparing the soil for new grass seedlings.
Timing Your Lawn Care Tasks:
Early (March – April)
Rake and remove dead leaves, twigs, and debris from the lawn
Early to Mid (March-May)
Prune any damaged limbs on trees. Look for pest infestations such as webs in corners of the house or at window sills, doors, etc.
Mid (April – May)
Fertilize your lawn with a fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus to encourage root growth. Avoid fertilizing cool-season grasses during the heat of summer because it can cause disease outbreaks.
Late & Early (May – June)
Aerate your lawn using a core aerator if the soil is compacted or soil is clay-type soil. Core aeration is simply perforating the soil with small holes using a machine. This helps to improve water penetration and air movement.
Early (May – July)
Determine what type of grass you have in order to determine when it should be mowed for optimum health. If your lawn is a product of Kentucky bluegrass, then mow high around 3″. For fescues, keep at 2-3 inches high.
Late & Early (July – August)
Fertilize again during this time frame to encourage lush green growth before Fall sets in. Use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to reduce nitrogen loss due to leaching or denitrification.
Mid to Late (August – September)
Water deeply at least once per week during hot weather to keep the soil moist. Mow the lawn as high as you can if not yet dormant under drought stress conditions.
Late (October – November)
If your lawn went into dormancy, you’ll need to rake leaves or use a blower until the snow falls and covers them completely. Then, apply a thin layer of compost in order to conserve nutrients from decomposing leaves.
Very Late (December)
In cooler climates where the ground freezes, it’s okay to leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing for added winter protection. In warmer climates, grass clippings should be bagged and put in the trash after mowing because they will decay quickly and provide nutrients for weed growth when the soil warms up again in the spring.
If you don’t like doing all of these tasks, you can hire a lawn care service to do it for you. But always make sure they follow safe practices and keep your family, pets, and environment safe while they’re working on your yard.
Always wear proper safety equipment such as gloves and glasses when using harmful chemicals or mowing tall grass. And never leave small children or animals unattended around any machinery such as lawnmowers.
Why is a good lawn important?
If you have a lawn that needs care, then perhaps you should invest some time into good lawn care benefits. Many people think only of the aesthetic value of a well-maintained lawn, but there’s much more to a beautiful yard than what meets the eye.
In fact, there are many practical reasons for taking good lawn care benefits seriously, whether you’re an individual who wants to make your home more attractive or a business owner looking to improve the appearance and increase property values. Here are five major benefits of good lawn care:
1) Aesthetic appeal
The first reason most people engage in good lawn care is that they want their homes to look nice. While this may be the top priority for some homeowners, others understand that what’s on the surface isn’t always what’s important. According to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a great lawn can add up to 5% to your home’s value.
If you have children, then you know how dangerous an unkempt yard can be for them. Fences and walls keep kids in your yard; healthy grass and well-placed trees keep them from getting into trouble.
A thick patch of weeds and wildflowers may not seem like much of a threat to adults, but they’re far more dangerous than most people realize. Lawns prevent soil erosion while also soaking up rainfall before it has a chance to cause problems such as flooding or mudslides.
3) Reduced stress
A fully-grown lawn is not only aesthetically pleasing but relaxing as well. If you work hard every day and want to finally enjoy your home, then you can relax without worrying about your yard by hiring a lawn care service for good lawn care benefits.
4) Improved outdoor living
Outdoor entertainment is among the top five activities that people look forward to doing in their homes. Decks and patios provide comfortable seating areas while preserving the grass below them.
Driveways and roads are other examples of practical yet pleasant outdoor use for a beautiful yard. And if you have pets, then having a nice yard means they won’t tear up your grass or cause problems on busy streets when they go potty.
5) Better business image
Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, your lawn has an effect on the people who visit. Even if they don’t notice your beautiful yard, their subconscious minds are sure to appreciate it.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University note that well-maintained lawns are far more inviting than overgrown grass with weeds sticking out of them. And if you have employees, then good lawn care benefits mean increasing morale, which can result in better service for customers.
There are many reasons to consider good lawn care benefits that go beyond aesthetics alone. If you want your home or business to be safe, relaxing, fun, and inviting all at once, then take the time to maintain what nature gave you.
In summary, proper mowing practices and quality turfgrass fertilizers will promote a healthy lawn while minimizing weed and pest problems. Keep your grass 2-3 inches tall throughout the growing season by using a mulching mower and giving your lawn deep watering every 5 days or so during hot summer months.
Finally, always remove clippings from your lawn to encourage deeper root penetration for healthier turfgrass.