A well-groomed backyard with a lush green lawn gives a unique pleasure to everyone. But only the constant and devoted care of your yard will give this result.
Grass requires regular, but also thorough care throughout the year. When it comes to mowing, you can decide when and how often to do it. Nevertheless, any lawn, without exception, needs watering, top dressing, aeration.
You cannot make your garden perfect without a lot of effort, as well as without knowing what and when you should do. For this reason, you need to have a month by month lawn care calendar.
Neither the elite type of grass seeds nor the help of professionals will improve your lawn more than following these rules and schedules. But first, let’s check the six essential elements of lawn care.
Lawn Care Components
In addition to primary procedures, such as mowing and watering, caring for your lawn includes a whole range of measures. Lawn care is much like caring for any other garden plant. It combines six parts:
- Additional measures to repair bare spots and get rid of moss and weeds
Mowing your lawn is a kind of art, and you can create a unique design and pattern on it. Moreover, it is also the most significant part of lawn care, as mowing helps keep it not only beautiful but also healthy.
Other indispensable components of garden care are cleaning and repairing your lawn. They help to prevent problems with grass health. And regular fertilizing and aerating allow supplying your lawn with oxygen and nutrients needed for natural growth and development.
Now you know the vital components of lawn care. So let’s go ahead and learn more about seasonal grass maintenance.
Spring Lawn Care
It will be better to begin this month by month lawn care calendar in spring. Spring is the most suitable time to start working on lawn care. Your grass is ready to wake up after the cold winter, and you should help to do just that.
In March, the weather changes several times during the day. It can be sunny in the noon and snowy in the evening. These sudden weather changes can cause the formation of ice coverage that can damage your lawn.
If it is warm enough in March, and the snow starts to melt, do not allow excess moisture to stay on your lawn. Most often, the grass does not tolerate waterlogging. It also increases the risk of root rot and mold appearance.
Also, you should not walk on wet grass, as you can damage your grass blades. If several big puddles appeared on your lawn, you need to aerate it. You can do it manually using a garden fork.
With the onset of warm weather, you can start spring top dressing with nitrogen-rich fertilizers. The mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other microelements allows stimulating the grass growth and healing the lawn after winter. Check out my article on topdressing your lawn with compost.
When the top layer of soil is dry enough, it is time to dethatch and scarify your lawn. It allows you to stop moss appearance. Besides, you should remove all leaves from the yard. Carrying out these procedures will create favorable conditions for air exchange and prevent various diseases.
Warmer weather initiates the growth of many weeds. The only way to control them is by digging them out. You should not start applying weed killers to the whole surface now. It will be better to wait a few weeks after fertilizing.
Sometimes, your lawn may need repair after winter.
You can plant grass seeds to restore bare spots in the lawn. Use the same grass-seed mixture for reseeding to avoid any color or shape differences. Cast the grass seeds over the surface, gently rake it, and water the area in the morning and evening. Check out my article on aerating and overseeding your lawn.
The end of April and the beginning of May is the best time to start mowing your lawn. However, do not forget to set the mower blade to the proper height. Do not mow the grass too low – let it recover after winter. Also, start preparing your irrigation system.
Also, if you noticed water collecting in some places, level the surface of the lawn by adding or removing the soil. I have 15 tips for leveling lawns. Besides, when you found brown patches and other lawn diseases, you have to take urgent measures to heal it and prevent the spread of the disease.
If there is no change for the better after fertilizing it in April, and after first mowing, the grass is still affected, then you should consider more drastic measures to fix the lawn.
Cut the grass as low as possible in the affected areas. Then, dig the upper layer of the soil. Let it rest and, after 7-10 days, plant grass. If you need to repair lawn urgently, use fast-growing grass mixtures.
Summer Lawn Care
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of summer? I guess that it is having a BBQ in the backyard. And the lush green lawn makes this experience even more enjoyable.
Nevertheless, summer can be the most stressful season for the grass. So, let’s move to the summer stage of the month by month lawn care calendar. What should you do to maintain your lawn in summer?
Now you can see the results of spring lawn care and focus on mowing and watering your lawn. When mowing, use a lawnmower with a sharp blade and grass catcher. Poor-quality cuts lead to the damage of the upper part of the plants, and your lawn becomes brown. Use the string trimmer only in hard-to-reach areas of the garden.
If regular watering is not possible, I recommend you leave your grass clippings for 1-2 days on the surface of the lawn or use a mulching lawnmower. It reduces the evaporation of moisture during hot summer days. Avoid too low mowing as it can affect the density of the grass and start the rapid development of weeds.
When the grass is much higher than you need, do not cut the whole plant at once. It will be better to mow not more than 1/3 of the plant every 3-5 days until you reach the required level.
You should water your lawn after each mowing and when the weather is dry and hot. To reduce moisture loss due to evaporation, do it in the evening or early in the morning. Make sure your garden gets enough water, but avoid the formation of puddles. Also, summer is a great time to try to create beautiful patterns on your lawn.
When you mow your lawn, you remove some part of the nutrients that the grass receives from granules and soil. So you should replenish them by applying lawn fertilizers. Do it in early June, before it gets too hot. Otherwise, your lawn will change its color from dark green to light green or yellow.
Strong winds and the scorching July sun have a notable effect on the plants’ development. Due to the lack of moisture at this time, the growth of lawn grass slows down, and it may turn brown and look dead.
Watering is the central part of summer lawn care, and the only way to avoid the above problems. Maybe you believe that the lawn needs daily watering in dry weather. However, it will delay the growth and development of the roots of the grass.
You should water your lawn every few days, and when you notice that it lacks moisture. Evening watering is more efficient and beneficial for your garden. During this time, grass almost does not lose any moisture, as its evaporation is minimal. It helps the topsoil to be saturated all night long.
On hot summer days, you can reduce the evaporation of water by mowing the lawn with a mower without a grass catcher. However, do not leave grass clippings on the yard for more than 3-5 days.
If necessary, apply lawn fertilizers. But when it is hot outside, you should use them in the evening, shortly before watering.
Heavy rains often cause soil compaction, and it blocks oxygen and starts the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the topsoil. This process slows down the growth and development of plants.
At the end of summer, the only things you should do are regular watering and mowing. If you want to stimulate the development of the lawn during the fall, you can apply fertilizers after last summer mowing.
The principal problem in August are weeds, and dandelions can be just like some kind of disaster.
But do not worry. Most of them do not tolerate cutting. After mowing, the lawn grass grows faster, preventing the development of weeds.
Therefore, you should mow and water the lawn frequently. It will be the most uncomplicated but, at the same time, quite efficient weed control measure. However, it does not guarantee victory in this fight. If it seems that mowing does not help, try digging the weeds out or use weed killers.
Fall Lawn Care
Fall is an excellent time to give your lawn some extra boost it lacks to make it through the cold months. To prepare your grass for winter, you should top dress it. So how to winterize your lawn?
If you found damaged areas or bare spots on your lawn or moles attacked it, then reseeding is necessary. And the afternoon is the best time to do it. You should seed your yard according to the following:
Seeding of affected areas
- Cut the grass low and remove the grass clippings.
- Aerate the topsoil using a rake or lawn tiller.
- Level the surface.
- Sow grass seeds.
- Lightly compact topsoil.
- Water the whole lawn, not just the damaged places.
Repairing thinned lawn
- Rake your lawn to aerate the topsoil. Do not be afraid to hurt existing grass.
- Spread the grass-seed mixture evenly over the surface of the thinning lawn with your hands.
- Water the whole lawn.
- To achieve the best results, apply multi-nutrient NPK lawn fertilizer.
If you want to plant a new lawn, you should prepare the soil for it in October. It is crucial to determine the proper time for sowing, taking into account the weather conditions. The height of the grass before winter should be about 10 cm (4 in).
You can also try winter sowing at the end of October. Plant the grass seeds in the prepared soil and press them into the surface with a roller. They will not appear this year. In this case, you can see green shoots shortly after the snow melts.
Also, October is time to think about getting your current lawn ready for winter. During this period, apply fall phosphorus-potassium fertilizers as a top dressing. These nutrients stimulate the root formation and strengthen cell tissue, increasing winter hardiness and disease resistance of plants.
After the last mowing, spread these fertilizers evenly over the ground and water your lawn. If you use complex fertilizers, choose the one with the smallest part of the nitrogen.
Do not use spring fertilizers in fall! Nitrogen stimulates the formation of plant cells and the active growth of lawn grass. Therefore, young shoots will get damaged by frost and subsequently die.
To create favorable conditions for your existing lawn, you should aerate it by punching small holes all over the surface. It helps water to get into deeper soil layers and prevents the grass from getting too wet due to heavy fall rains. It will be best to do aeration when the weather is dry. You can use a regular garden fork for that.
Also, aeration is necessary to enhance the draining of water through the soil and prevent its accumulation in the topsoil. When winter comes, this water can freeze, damaging the root system of the grass. And aeration allows excess moisture to percolate to deeper layers of soil.
The last mow of the year is essential for winterizing the lawn. You should do it in late October or early November so that the grass has enough time to recover and grow by 2-3 cm (1 in). The height of the grass should not be lower than 6-8 cm (2.5-3 in).
Excessively tall grass is susceptible to freezing and aging. And when you cut it too short, the grass will be weak due to lack of oxygen, as its absorption will not be sufficient.
Fall is ending, and it is time to fix some of the negative consequences of this season. Falling leaves, like a blanket, cover the lawn, making it difficult for the grass to get enough oxygen and sunlight. Plants are fading, and frequent rainfalls make them more susceptible to getting excessively wet and rotting along with fallen leaves.
It will be best to remove all debris and fallen leaves from your lawn as soon as possible. You should not wait until they cover your whole backyard to start raking.
Otherwise, the leaves will get wet from morning dew and rains, stick together, and, if left untouched, will suffocate the lawn and cause fungal diseases.
Winter Lawn Care
With no more weed control and mowing, winter is an excellent period for you to relax. However, it does not mean that you can abandon your lawn completely.
Winter lawn care involves only a few uncomplicated steps that will make your yard looking lush in the spring. So, what should you know about taking care of grass in winter?
Your lawn has got all the necessary micronutrients. Heavy rains have not damaged it. You have mowed it properly and removed all leaves. Everything looks perfect. However, don’t jump to conclusions.
Even in winter, your lawn needs specific care. With the first frost coming, the grass goes dormant. Do not walk on the lawn until there is a stable thick snow cover. Avoid playing with children or walking pets on the grass till the snow thickness is 20-25 cm (8-10 in).
Many insects, such as leather jackets, can cause many problems on your lawn. And December is the best time to deal with them. They are the larval stage of daddy-long-legs or crane flies, and they feed on the basal stems and grassroots below the surface of the lawn.
The central indications that your lawn suffers from these pests are brown patches appearing when the weather turns dry. You may also notice high bird activity on your lawn, as they are looking for these bugs. You should use appropriate pesticides to fight these pests.
Also, you should pay particular attention to the preparation of equipment in winter. Clean all tools and lubricate its parts. Besides, you can sharpen lawn mower blades to prepare it for spring.
Your principal task in January is ensuring that there are no debris and leaves on your lawn. You will also prevent moss from appearing and reduce the risk of weeds by brushing them off.
As you already know, you should avoid walking on the lawn when it is frosty. It can damage the grass blades and make them dark. If the lawn experiences stress during winter, you will face bare spots in spring. And the damage to the plants causes various diseases that weaken the grass.
However, if you do everything correctly, low temperatures and adverse climatic conditions will not harm it. Check where the water lies when snow is thawing or after heavy rains and spike the waterlogged sections with a garden fork to improve drainage.
Also, January is not the proper time to fill in any depressions. You should build them up with numerous small applications of sifted soil during the growing season.
At this time of year, the lawn on compacted soil or heavy clay can get waterlogged. That is why, you should aerate it by spiking the grass with a garden fork or a specific hollow tined fork, at 15-20 cm (6-8 in) intervals. Then you can sprinkle some little coarse sand on muddy and wet patches.
In most regions, during the winter months and early spring, a thick snow layer covers the lawn. It is the time when you need to start the preparation of equipment and tools for lawn maintenance.
If you don’t do this, it will ultimately affect the quality of the lawn. Check your mower following the operating instructions. Wipe and clean all mechanisms, lubricate its parts if necessary. Sharpen or replace mower blades. Change the lawn mower oil and check its spark plugs.
Also, check all the cables of an electric mower for damage. Problems with the lawnmower will not allow you to mow the garden on time. Regular, timely mowing is an essential condition for creating a beautiful and healthy lawn. In case of severe defects, contact a service center.
If a thick layer of snow covers your lawn, you may sleep soundly. It will protect grass from frost and will be an excellent source of moisture in early spring.
With a thinner snow cover and low air temperatures, especially in regions with strong winds, you should install some shields to protect the grass from winds. Also, prevent the appearance of ice coverage on your lawn. You can remove it using a roller, garden fork, or rake.
As you can see, keeping your lawn beautiful and healthy is a complicated process.
It requires year-round care, and you should know when to mow it, what fertilizers to use, how to aerate it, and so on. Following the rules and doing everything timely can help you achieve amazing results. And this month by month lawn care calendar will make it easier.