In order to have a healthy lawn, it’s necessary to maintain it all year round. If you neglect your lawn, you are risking having the grass susceptible to outdoor pests and various diseases.
The best type of lawn care is the seasonal care, meaning you need to take temperature changes into consideration. Here are 4 useful pieces of advice for proper lawn maintenance through every season.
1. Spring lawn maintenance
As this is the busiest time when it comes to lawn maintenance, let’s start here. As the weather gets warmer and sunny days are increasing, the grass will grow much faster and the blooms will start appearing. Therefore, your job is to help the lawn with regular feeding and weeding to ensure it gets all it needs after the long winter.
– Feeding – Nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium are necessary for the grass and plants after cold winter months. So, it’s best to opt for a light or organic fertilizer which won’t damage the lawn. You don’t need to use typical fertilizers – there are also liquid feeds and tonics. Consult a professional on the right type of fertilizer and stick to the fertilization schedule.
– Weeding – react timely: apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent the weed from appearing. Otherwise, dandelions and thatch will quickly spread over the lawn. Late spring is the time for a post-emergent herbicide to prevent the majority of summer weed from appearing.
– Dealing with insects and pests – be prepared for a lot of insects and pests when spring comes. Organic lawn care is the most efficient way here.
– Mowing – leave the grass slightly longer than usual to protect the soil from the heat and remove only one-third of the blades. Leave the clippings to give the soil extra nutrients.
2. Summer lawn maintenance
Hot sun and long days without rain are why you must regularly take care of the lawn.
– Mowing – it’s necessary to mow the lawn every week to prevent overgrowth and, consequently, diseases and outdoor pests. The grass will definitely grow faster so make sure you mow it regularly.
– Mulching – it provides your lawn with a layer that protects the soil. That way, the soil keeps the moisture and there’s less chance the weed will start growing. You can choose between a couple of organic mulches, such as grass clippings, straw or bark chips – they decompose and simultaneously provide the soil with organic ingredients. On the other hand, inorganic mulches won’t do anything for the soil, but they are easy to apply on steep slopes and areas which are hard to water.
– Dealing with insects and pests – if you notice any brown patches on your lawn or moths flying in the late June afternoon, it’s a clear sign there are sod webworms. Grub worms are another pests, usually appearing in July, as well as Japanese Beetles. Any of them can seriously damage the lawn. In most cases, you will need a pesticide and you’ll need to react quickly, but consult a lawn professional before you opt for a certain pesticide.
– Watering – In general, the lawn needs enough water on a weekly basis, whether it comes from rainfall or an irrigation system. It’s better to perform deep watering, as it will water the deeper root system, where the water will remain even during hot days – that way, the grass will always be able to use water. If you only quickly water the lawn, the soil will dry out really fast and the grass will start to wither. The best method is to have reliable gardening equipment like a quality sprinkler system and other aids to make sure the watering will happen when you want and that it will be deep watering. The best time for watering is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
3. Fall lawn maintenance
Preparing the lawn for winter is very important.
– Yard cleanup – remove the debris from fallen branches and rake dead leaves regularly. Otherwise, it will smother the grass.
– Feeding – early fall is the time for fertilizing. Potassium is the most important ingredient here, which helps the grass grow strong and make it through the winter.
– Removing thatch – use a spring-tined rake to remove thatch from the lawn. You can also use a scarifier – move it into two directions, the second one being deeper.
– Aerating the lawn – it prevents soil compaction that can happen during cold months. When you punch these small holes in the soil, it allows the oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach the roots. Use a fork or an aerator to make four-inch holes.
4. Winter lawn maintenance
Just because it’s winter and the grass can get a little brown, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do any maintenance.
– Regular care – even though everything grows much slower in the winter, don’t forget to mow the lawn when necessary. That prevents pests from appearing. The overgrowth will also invite mice, possums, and other pests, so make sure to mow it regularly.
– Decreased foot traffic – don’t step on your lawn more than necessary – it will weaken the grass and make it more difficult for it to recover when the spring comes.
As you can see, proper lawn care and maintenance include the whole year. Of course, some months will be busier than others but it’s important to know that every season brings different challenges. Sticking to the seasonal schedule is what will ensure a green and healthy lawn.