Seasonal Lawn Care Guide and Tips

Basic Lawn Care Tasks for a Green Lawn

Homeowners dream of a lush and green lawn. Fortunately, proper maintenance and lawn care can make this dream a reality.

A beautiful green lawn can enhance the overall appearance of the home and provide a great space for the family to enjoy.

Therefore, lawn care should be an essential home maintenance task to beautify the entire yard and add curb appeal.

Seasonal Lawn Care Guide | UrbanOrganicYield.com
Seasonal Lawn Care Guide | UrbanOrganicYield.com

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Watering

Watering is an important requirement for every plant to grow – including grass. You should water the lawn every week (not more than one inch of water).

The frequency depends on the soil temperatures, evaporation rate, and generally how hot it is outside.

seasonal lawn care using watering

When summer arrives, homeowners should stick to a watering schedule if they have access to a sprinkler irrigation system, even better – if you don’t have a sprinkler system don’t fret.

Just remember to water the lawn deeply during this period.

This will allow the water to get down to the deeper roots.

Keep in mind; however, the depth of watering per square foot should be determined according to the soil type and type of grass.

During the fall and winter, you do not have to water the lawn too often, if at all.

Mowing

When spring arrives, homeowners should prepare to start mowing. First, use the mower to cut the top of the grass blade.

Cutting high will encourage the plants to grow with deeper roots.

Next, remove the clippings because leaving out the clippings can spread fungal diseases that developed during the winter.

mowing-seasonal-lawn-care

Mowing in hot weather will boost the grass’s growth, but do not mow too frequently during the summer months if you have cool-season grasses.

Cool-season grasses, such as fescue grass or Kentucky bluegrass, will go dormant in the summer.

If you have warm-season grasses, it will be necessary to mow them every week as it’s their growing period.

Plus, a cleanly mowed lawn makes the grass look healthier and promotes root growth.

When summer is about to end, when you mow the lawn, leave the grass clippings on the grass because they can supply essential nutrients when the clippings decompose.

Further, the grass clippings act as mulch, which will increase the moisture retention capacity.

When the temperatures start dropping in early fall, it is better not to mow warm-season grass.

This is a good opportunity to maintain your lawn mower by checking the engine oil level and sharpening your mower’s blades.

On the other hand, cool-season lawns come out of their dormant state and start growing at this time.

In addition, taller grass can be susceptible to snow mold, which is why owners should definitely mow cool-season grasses before wintertime.

Weed Control

Weeds start growing after the frost and during early spring. Therefore, you should deal with the weeds before they fully develop.

Understandably, once weeds start growing, controlling weeds’ growth is a hard thing to do. That’s why you have to eradicate them before they germinate.

seasonal lawn care using weed control

You can either use chemical or organic methods to suppress weed growth. We suggest that you first use organic weed management techniques to control the weeds.

If the weeds are not controlled during the spring, they may inhibit grass growth.

Weeds are more visible in the warmer months and grow quickly as they receive sufficient water and fertilizer. Remember not to over-fertilize your lawn, or else you can burn your grass.

If you forget to use herbicides during the spring, you can still use chemicals (i.e., weed killers) to kill them.

Cultural control can also be adopted if owners prefer to avoid herbicides, but be aware that these same chemicals can harm surrounding plants [1].

During the fall, some weed species may persist. If identified, you should quickly apply chemicals to kill them; otherwise, they can remain there and propagate until spring.

During the winter, owners do not have to think about the weeds, but if you see them, it is better to pull them by hand before frost appears.

Fertilizer

The lawn starts to look yellowish green after winter. Spring is considered the growing season for all plants because they come out of their dormant states and begin to grow.

Before you use fertilizers on the lawn, wait for signs that new grass is sprouting. If you notice new grass, wait for 1-2 weeks and let the plants utilize their own resources.

After a week, apply NPK liquid fertilizer to provide nutrients instantly. There are different types of fertilizer – liquid or granular.

If you are looking for a good NPK liquid fertilizer, we suggest using this NPK lawn fertilizer. All of our neighbors use this fertilizer, and it has produced super green grasses.

Sale
Advanced 16-4-8 Balanced NPK - Lawn Food Quality Liquid Fertilizer - Spring & Summer...
  • Complete NPK Lawn Food: 16-4-8 is the perfect blend of key macronutrients....
  • Contains High Quality Feed Grade Ingredients: Nourish your lawn with pure...
  • Easy To Use: Designed to be easily applied. This complete Nitrogen,...

Summer is considered an active growth period, so you should use a slow-release fertilizer to supply nutrients during this time.

When fall and winter roll around, homeowners don’t have to worry about fertilizing warm-season grasses.

However, cool-season lawns require fertilization during this time because they thrive during these periods. You can apply slow-release fertilizers to both types of lawns.

Looking for a slow-release fertilizer? We recommend this particular slow-release fertilizer as it has worked very well for us during cooler seasons during the fall and winter.

Jonathan Green & Sons Inc (12414) Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer, 45 Pound
  • Prepares your lawn for winter
  • Promotes root growth
  • Ideal for fall seeding

Overseeding (Planting New Grass Seeds)

Overseeding means replenishing the lawn by sowing grass seeds on top of your existing lawn. Spring is considered the ideal period for this.

If you have plenty of leftover grass seeds, you can possibly keep them for the following season.

New grass growing in this season has a shallow root system, so you’ll have to take care of mowing and watering.

During the fall, temperatures start to fall, which is an ideal period to overseed cool-season lawns. For cool-season lawns, the fall is the last period of time when these grasses will grow.

While overseeding, you need to introduce more tolerant grass so that it can withstand extreme climatic conditions.

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Also, sow them in bare patches to make your lawn more beautiful.

Looking for a grass seed that you can use for all types of grass. We think this is the best grass seed for that purpose.

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Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass Sun & Shade Mix: up to 2,800 sq. ft., Combination Seed &...
  • Enjoy a new lawn in just weeks with Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass Sun &...
  • Unique, proprietary combination of sun and shade mix of seed and fertilizer...
  • This sun and shade grass seed and fertilizer combination will change the...

Aeration

To aerate your lawn, you need to first rake and remove dead leaves off your lawn.

Plus, a cleaner yard can improve the efficiency of herbicides as winter debris can be a deterrent when applying herbicides.

Use the rake on slightly damp soil to avoid over-compacting the soil.

When fall arrives, you should never forget to aerate your lawn. Break down the larger clods in the lawn as it will improve the infiltration capacity of the soil.

Aeration is a must, especially for those lawns that receive a lot of foot traffic. If you don’t have a large yard, you can use a spading fork tool instead.

Look at this spading fork. We think it is small enough and easy to use for any small yard.

True Temper 2812200 4-Tine Spading Digging Fork with 30 in. Hardwood D-Grip Handle, 30...
  • Forged spading fork head
  • 4 diamond pointed steel tines for easy soil penetration
  • 30-inch hardwood handle for strength and durability

Pest Control and Prevention

Mole attacks on your lawn are common during the spring. They can damage grassroots, and they will keep troubling you until winter arrives.

Grubs and caterpillars can also damage your lawn in the early summer months. Always stay alert to identify a major infestation on your lawn.

These insects and pests can ruin even the best cared for lawns by damaging the grassroots.

You can DIY by using grub killers on your lawn.

We have an extensive review on the best grub killers. After researching and actually having used it, we suggest this particular brand of grub killer as it has been proven to be very effective.

Scotts GrubEx1 - Grub Killer for Lawns, Kills White Grubs, Sod Webworms and Larvae of...
  • One application in the spring or early summer kills and prevents grubs for...
  • Helps prevent root damage caused by insects for a stronger lawn
  • Prevents turf damage by killing grubs when they are young

However, if you have a severe infestation, insect control can be done by hiring a professional lawn services team.

Oftentimes, they can provide helpful advice about effective treatments that will eliminate your problem.

Seasonal Lawn Care Tips for Different Seasons

As mentioned above, seasonal lawn care includes mowing, cleaning, fertilization, watering, pest control, weed control, and preparation for the upcoming season.

We will now discuss what you should be doing in each season of the year.

Spring Lawn Care

During this period, your lawn requires your maximum attention. Spring arrives with a fresh sense of life as all types of grass break their dormancy and start growing again.

This is the time to give your entire loving care to make it healthy again from the winter months.

Check the moisture content of the soil. If it’s dry, give it a good watering.

Cleaning the Winter Debris

Use a rake to remove the dead grass, grass clippings, winter debris, and the remnants of grassy weeds like goosegrass, barnyard grass, and crabgrass.

Mowing

Next, you should mow your lawn. Always make sure to use sharp mower blades for mowing.

Herbicide or Weed Killer

herbicide-or-weed-killer-in-spring-time

After mowing, use a pre-emergent herbicide or weed killer to eliminate any dormant weeds that may start growing.

Spraying can be a good option to apply herbicides. This way, you can avoid damaging the grassroots.

Overseed

We also suggest you sow warm-season grasses in late spring and cool-season grasses in early spring.

There are hundreds of products in the market that can make the lawn denser by combining grass seed, fertilizers, and other soil amendments such as compost, peat, or high-quality topsoil.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing is a must during early spring. Since grasses have been dormant during the winter, they need all the nutrients to start up again.

Overview

  • Mow your lawn
  • Use pre-emergent herbicide before weeds start growing
  • Repair dead patches or bare spots
  • Sow grass seed
  • Fertilize and aerate your lawn

Summer Lawn Care

During the summer, the temperature starts rising, and there is also less rainfall. Cool-season grass becomes dormant, while warm-season grasses thrive during the summer months.

Watering

Given it’s warmer, you’ll need to increase the frequency of watering your lawn. Water your grass 2 to 3 times a week.

If you can help it, the best time to water your lawn is in the morning and preferably before 10 am.  

Try your best not to water your grass at night. This will eventually lead to fungus growth in your lawn.

Obviously, other factors such as the weather, evaporation rate, and temperature all play a role in how much water you need to give to your lawn.

Still, you’ll be able to gauge how much water your grass needs by sticking a screwdriver into the soil. If you cannot push it in, then you need more water.

Fertilizer

fertilize-warm-season-grasses

Fertilize the warm-season grasses every six weeks. Fertilize the warm-season grasses once after six weeks to maximize their growth.

A sprinkler irrigation system is considered the best method to supply water to the grassroots.

But if you don’t have a sprinkler system, check out our best recommendations on the new style oscillating sprinklers that cover more area than ever before.

The best oscillating sprinkler we think of is this particular lawn sprinkler. It has all the features of covering large areas and also has a built-in timer to stop watering.

Melnor 65021-AMZ XT Turbo Oscillator with 2-Way Adjustment and Timer with QuickConnect...
  • 20 Precision rubber nozzles provide maximum coverage of a large lawn or...
  • Built in mechanical timer lets you set how long you want to water, up to 2...
  • Infinity turbo drive provides a smooth operation for even watering and...

Mowing

Mow the grass every week using sharp mower blades because it will maintain the lawn’s nice appearance.

Don’t cut too short because you want to leave a good portion of the grass blades. For cool-season lawns, there is no need to mow as often.

Note, do not use dull mower blades to cut the grass because it can damage the grass in the summer heat.

Pest and Insects

During the early summer, gardeners should be aware of lawn diseases and pests.

For example, grub worms can feed on the grass roots in warm weather, which can cause significant grass damage.

Testing Soil pH

Also, don’t forget to test the soil’s pH during the growing season. There is a variation of pH levels that any particular grass type thrives in.

In general, if you keep the soil’s pH in the range of between 6.5 to 7, in most cases, it should be fine. If your soil is healthy, your lawn will be too.

Looking for a pH meter? We have tested several mineral and pH test kits and can highly recommend this pH and mineral test kit to test your soil. It’s economical and outputs a pretty accurate reading for pH and other minerals in the soil.

Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash, 1 Pack
  • Quick, at home results for Soil pH, Nitrogen, Phosphrous and Potash
  • Innovative and inexpensive soil test kit features an easy-to-use capsule...
  • Contains all components needed for 40 tests. 10 for each of pH, N, P and K

Overview

  • Adopt an irrigation system to provide water
  • Use treatments to remove pest attacks from your healthy turf
  • Test the pH of the soil
  • Fertilize the warm-season grasses

Autumn/Fall Lawn Care

According to the meteorological calendar, autumn arrives in September. This time is ideal for cool-season lawns to grow. They start taking up nutrients that boost their growth.

Mowing

During autumn, you can use a lawnmower to cut the grass without harming it. Professional landscapers do this work very effectively and efficiently.

Watering

It would be best to reduce the frequency of watering in this period because the temperature starts falling in early fall, and water will now evaporate and soak in as fast.

If there is too much water, this can cause fungal growth in your lawn.

Related post: When to Stop Watering Grass in the Fall

Fertilizer and Aerate Your Lawn

fertilizer-aerate-lawn-in-autumn

Warm-season grass begins to enter its winter dormancy. It would be best to fertilize during the early fall for both cool and warm-season types of grass.

Mid-October is a good time to fertilize the lawn. Temperatures start to fall dramatically during this time, and the colder temperatures discourage the growth of grass.

Furthermore, it would be best if you reduced soil compaction to aerate the lawn.

Clean up

Also, remove the dead grass to give your yard a lush appearance.

Lawn care during this period must be done with care because without proper seasonal lawn care during this time. Your grass may die once the frost arrives.

Overview

  • Sow cool-season grass seeds
  • Fertilize your cool-season lawn early
  • Remove broadleaf weeds using a broad spectrum weedkiller
  • Use organic soil amendments such as compost, peat, or high-quality topsoil
  • Rake the fallen leaves and other debris off your lawn

Winter Lawn Care

Lawn care during winter becomes quite hard because of frost. But do not sit idly because winter is a fantastic time for preparation.

Try Not to Walk on the Grass

Winter arrives in November, and during this time, you need to limit foot traffic. Also, do not park any vehicles on the lawn.

It will be good to give your lawn a final mow, which will help prevent snow mold.

If you deice by using sodium chloride (rock salt), remember that excessive sodium and chloride ions can damage the root systems.

Preparation for Spring

It is better to make all the necessary preparations to start working on the lawn as soon as spring arrives.

sharpen lawn mower for spring lawn care

During this period, you can sharpen mower blades to get them ready for spring.

We have a great guide on how to remove your lawnmower blade and how to sharpen them.

You can also prepare pre-emergent herbicides to use in the spring to suppress weed growth.

Overview

  • Clean and sharpen mower blades
  • Prep pre-emergent herbicide to use in the Spring
  • Clear the debris, rotting foliage, and little stones that may have been left on your lawn from road deicing

FAQ

How should I prepare a schedule for my lawn care?

To prepare a complete schedule for the entire year, you need to plan everything during the winter because this is when you will have enough time to think and make notes.

How can I take care of my lawn throughout the year?

There are a few things to remember about lawn care, such as when to mow, when to water and fertilize, and when to control weeds and pests.

These are the most basic and critical elements of lawn care.

When should I treat my lawn in winter?

You do not have to treat the lawn in the winter. It would help if you prepared for the next season. As soon as the frost is gone, you can start working.

Conclusions

To sum up, different seasons have different requirements for lawn care. Though it seems complicated, the situation can become very easy if you plan everything early.

Taking care of your seasonal lawn care needs and proper maintenance can help you obtain a beautiful green lawn.

Plus, well-taken care of lawn has several positive effects on the environment, including carbon sequestration [2].

When in doubt, however, you can always consult professionals for your lawn care services if you feel lost so you can kick up your feet and enjoy your beautiful lawn.

Reference

[1] Sewell, Mccallister, D.L., Gaussoin, R.E. and Wortmann C. 2008. Lawn management practices and perceptions of residents in 14 sandpit lakes of Nebraska. Journal of Extension, 48(2)

[2] Qian, Y., Follett, R.F., Kimble, J.M. 2010. Soil Organic Carbon Input from Urban Turfgrasses. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 74(2), 366-371

University of Minnesota Extension Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Lawn Care Calendar

Kansas State University Research and Extension Lawn Care Seasonal Guide

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