Your lawn is both a natural and an artificial environment. Because the grass is living, like every plant, it will respond to seasonal changes in the surroundings. But since it is planted by you and sustained by your direct effort (because it is probably not native to the area), it will need your help to survive those seasonal changes.
Knowing how the four seasons affect your lawn and what to do to protect it is one of the greatest aspects of lawn management. What you do in one year of lawn management sets the tone for the results you get in the following year. A great looking lawn doesn’t happen by chance; it results from understanding lawn care as an ongoing process that stretches from one year to another.
A nice lawn will make your home beautiful, more pleasant to live in and improve its market value, explains SCUDO, a real estate and property management company in Kansas City. Good lawn care is good business. But you will only get that great lawn by careful planning and organization. You deserve a professional guideline to direct your activities for the best results with your yearly lawn maintenance.
This detailed lawn maintenance checklist is just that. It will take the guesswork out of your lawn maintenance for each of the four seasons of the year.
A lawn maintenance checklist for every season of the year
The advice here is general; it does not include specific steps to care for cool-season grass or warm-season grass.
1. Spring Lawn Care
Most of your spring work will involve steps to help you get ready for the coming months.
Monitor the lawn: Carefully inspect the lawn when the snow melts and the spring begins. Look for water pooling in parts of the lawn. If there are puddles on the lawn, plan to aerate it.
Prepare your tools: Now is the time to sharpen your tools and give your lawn equipment a tune-up. Make sure the mower is working and has the recommended fluid levels. Do the same for your leaf blower and every tool you need to look after the lawn.
Apply pre-emergent: Apply pre-emergent now to make weed control easier for the rest of the year. Do this before crabgrass seeds start germinating, usually when temperatures get to the mid-high 50s.
Rake lightly: The goal here is to help sunlight penetrate the matted grass on your lawn. Do this with care; do not tear up the lawn.
Aerate the soil: This step is only necessary if the thatch is heavy or the soil appears to be compacted. If you are unsure about this, you may ask an expert for help.
2. Summer Lawn Care
Initiate pest control: Summer is the season for pests. You want to start your pest control plan early and on the right note. Check the yard for grubs. Do not use broad-spectrum insecticides; granular pest control and organic pesticides are better.
Mow the lawn: This will depend on the type of grass on the lawn. Usually, you don’twant to cut the grass shorter than 2 – 2 ½ inches. Cut the grass too low, and weeds will find room to sprout.
Water your lawn: Most lawns will need around one inch of water every week. But this also depends on weather conditions in your area (temperature and wind) and the type of grass. Whatever you do, avoid overwatering so as not to encourage fungal growth.
Take care of mystery spots: If there are spots of browning grass on the lawn, you may be overwatering, or it could be a fungus. To discover what is causing the mystery spot, talk to your local nursery.
Adjust your mower: It will get warmer as summer progresses. Protect the lawn by not mowing during periods when the grass is under stress. If the grass appears to be thinning, raise your mower’s blade.
3. Fall Lawn Care
Lower mower blade: Lower the blade of your mower a little at a time; do this as the grass gets shorter and halt when it eventually stops growing.
Reduce watering: Reduce the amount of water. But to keep the lawn hydrated, do not stop watering altogether.
Dethatch the lawn: Do this step if you did not do it in spring but be careful not to set the tines too deep. Dethatching will rid dead grass and let more air and moisture penetrate the soil.
Rake leaves: This allows sunlight to reach the root of the plants and keep them strong going into winter.
4. Winter Lawn Care
Most of your work is done, but not all of it.
Prep for summer: Clean and repair your tools. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when storing equipment.
Protect the lawn: Stake the perimeter of the lawn to prevent damage by plows or snow throwers.
Get educated: Get the information you need to make your lawn even better next year.
From American Lawn and Landscape: Thank you, Sharon, for the guest blog post! We appreciate your heart and attitude of wanting to help your clients maintain their properties all year around. It sure makes the process easier when the time comes to sell! For more information and/or questions, reach out to Sharon at SCUDO and tell them that the best landscaper in Kearney, MO sent you!