The simplest year-round lawn care schedule
Our yards are not just a big part of the curb appeal of our home. They’re also something to enjoy in different ways throughout every season. From summer barbecues to enjoying the cool breeze of fall, yards are a place for relaxation and play.
With that being said, caring for your lawn takes some work. And with each season, your lawn has specific needs to transition to the next. In this article, we’ll cover some key lawn maintenance tips to keep your lawn looking great year-round.
The importance of lawn care
Lawn maintenance is important for a number of reasons. When neglected for too long, lawns have a hard time bouncing back to their former selves. So, it’s better to stay on top of a lawn care schedule rather than put it off.
A manicured lawn won’t just be the envy of your neighbors — it can also affect your home’s resale value. Curb appeal is a real thing and can help attract offers from buyers when selling your home. However, it’s not only buyers who will appreciate the look of a healthy lawn. You’ll also enjoy a sense of pride when you have a beautiful lawn that you enjoy spending time around.
While lawn care is important, it might seem challenging to develop a lawn care calendar, especially if you are unsure of what your lawn needs each season to stay healthy. From when to fertilize to how often to mow, you likely have questions on how to create a year-round lawn maintenance schedule.
You don’t have to worry much longer, though. Keep reading for lawn care tips for every season.
Spring lawn care
As a homeowner, you’re probably familiar with spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a household ritual occurring at the close of winter to prepare for the warmer months ahead. It’s a way to clear out the old to bring in the new. This ritual is also relevant to your yard, and there are many things you can do in the spring to prepare your lawn for the summer months ahead.
The first task at hand is to clean up and prep the yard. In early spring, rake fallen leaves and remove any dead grass or other debris that may have collected during the winter months. If you notice bare spots, don’t worry. Overseed these areas for regrowth. Now, you’re ready for aerating the soil.
Aeration loosens compacted soil or thatch in your yard. When soil, roots, stems or other organic material are tightly compacted, nutrients have a tough time reaching where they’re most needed — your grassroots. Using an aerator, you can break up compaction and create “airways” for water and fertilizer to flow through easily. While working on your lawn, it’s a good time for a soil test. A soil test measures pH levels, which can help you determine what type of fertilizing your lawn needs for optimum grass growth.
Once spring has sprung and your grass enters the growing season, fertilize your lawn. You can also apply pre-emergent herbicide at this time too. Pre-emergent helps get rid of weeds, such as crabgrass. Weeds steal nutrients from grass, so the less there are, the better.
With all the time and care you’ve given your yard, you’re probably ready to see results. While waiting for growth, check your lawn care equipment and make sure it is in working order. Sharpen lawn mower motor blades, purchase gas if necessary or charge electric batteries. This will prepare you for the early summer growing season.
Summer lawn care
Hot summer temperatures mean special care to keep your yard looking good, especially because this is a time when people enjoy their yard the most. Regular mowing, watering, and weed and pest control can keep your lawn looking its best during this time of year.
Typically, homeowners develop a weekly lawn care schedule for mowing grass. When mowing, adjust the mower blades to the highest setting and cut up to a third of the grass blade through late summer and into fall. This will help maintain a strong, healthy root system, which leads to better nutrition absorption and a healthier, green lawn.
The amount of water your lawn needs depends on where you live. However, a general rule is one inch of water a week, including rainfall, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can achieve this with a sprinkler system or by hand.
During the summer months, follow up with weed control. Although your grass is growing and lush, removing weeds can keep them at bay and improve the look of your lawn. For annual and perennial weed growth, use a post-emergent herbicide. Pests can be problematic during the warmer months. While bugs are a natural part of our world, certain insects, such as grubs, may affect root growth and the overall health of your lawn. You can control grubs by using chemicals or natural approaches.
Fall lawn care
Fall is a particularly busy time of the year for lawn care as you prep it for the winter months ahead. Continue mowing the grass regularly, fertilize, patch areas of dead grass and winterize lawn care equipment in the late fall.
This time of year, it’s important to keep your yard clean of leaves and debris. As trees lose their leaves, avoid leaving them on your lawn. This can slowly suffocate your lawn. Keep your weekly lawn care schedule through the fall months. When mowing, adjust the mowing height and cut grass blades shorter than you did over the summer. Shorter grass blades are more resilient to fallen leaves and less susceptible to snow mold during the winter months.
During the early fall, fertilize your lawn to give it an extra boost of nutrition. This will help it get through dormancy during the cooler temperatures. If you notice areas of dead grass, patch them with a mixture of grass seed, fertilizer and mulch to speed regrowth.
As the months draw closer to winter, winterize lawn care equipment. Cleaning and preparing your lawn mower for storage can help ensure it will run in the coming spring. Remove all cut grass and debris from the mower’s deck and blades. If you have a gas mower, remove the gas to protect the engine parts from corrosion. For electricity-powered mowers, remove the batteries and keep them away from extreme temperatures.
Winter lawn care
Although your lawn is probably dormant in the winter and might be covered under snow, there are still some things you can do to make sure it survives the cold months and comes out next spring looking great.
Aerate and fertilize before the first freeze of winter. This will give your lawn one last shot of nutrition before the arrival of spring. If possible, avoid a lot of foot traffic. Dormant grass is fragile. Be sure to clear debris, fallen leaves and lawn furniture. The weight of these items may weaken areas of your lawn. For treating ice, avoid salt mixtures and use a soluble fertilizer or calcium chloride instead. Ice-melting products may damage your lawn. Read the label before applying to sidewalks, driveway or other walkways.
Protect your home year-round with Cinch
Your lawn is an extension of your home. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy the many benefits of a beautiful lawn year-round. You might also think about protecting your home with a home warranty from Cinch Home Services. Have peace of mind that when certain built-in systems or major appliances need repair or replacement, you can protect your budget while having the coverage you need.
Simply choose the plan right for your budget and needs, and request service when you need it — including weekends and holidays. Cinch also offers a 180-day workmanship guarantee on covered repairs and the ability to customize your plan with additional coverage options.