Lush, healthy lawns have a way of making lawn care look easy—and backyards look great! But, we all know that doesn’t just happen by chance. Rather, following specific, seasonal best practices increase their chances of looking fantastic each and every month. These straightforward lawn care tips will put yours on track to year-round beauty.
January: Clean Up
If you’re in warmer climates this is the month to clean up the backyard and assess where things are planted. You can mow a dormant lawn, but not too short. If you’re in wet or snowy climes, hang tight and wait for the snow to melt.
In dormant warm-weather lawns, check for weeds. Remove them by hand pulling or do some spot herbicide application. Make sure you follow instructions with whichever weed killer you choose, so that you don’t damage your lawn. If your lawn is still under snow or frozen, hang tight until the thaw.
March: Aerate, Dethatch, Test Soil
If you’re in a cool-season grass zone, now is a good time to aerate your lawn. This is also the time to consider dethatching to break up any accumulation of organic matter that can build up between the grass and its root system. In preparation for growing season, in warm-season zones you may want to lime your lawn. But before you add lime or fertilizers, be sure to do a pH soil test on your lawn so you know exactly what nutrients it needs.
For warm-season and cool-season grasses, you can start to mow your lawn regularly. But don’t shave them too short. Set the blade to remove just the top third. As grass begins to grow, you’ll want to cut it about once a week throughout the growing season. Be sure to stay on top of weeds during the growing season.
Be sure to check out this post on how to determine the right mower height for your lawn
May: Aerate and Mow
If you are in a warm-season grass zone, late spring is a good time to aerate your lawn. This is a time to mow your lawn once a week. Now is a good time to fertilize your lawn. Be sure to check the type of grass you are growing against the type and amount of fertilizer you are using so you don’t burn your lawn. Also check your fertilizer type against the results of your pH soil tests.
June: Mow and Water
In June, during the growing season, mow your lawn once a week. You will want to water your lawn regularly in the warm season. Turn the sprinkler on in the early morning hours or at night when the water will be better absorbed into the ground. During the day water will evaporate quicker or water droplets on the grass can act like magnifying glasses to the sun’s rays and burn the grass.
July: Water and Mow
Continue to water your lawn in the early morning or evening hours. Mow your lawn once a week, but be sure to keep your grass a healthy length and not cut it too short. This helps it to better survive the summer heat without burning or drying out.
August: Still Mowing and Watering
Continue to water it in the early morning or evening hours. Mow your lawn once a week, but be sure to keep your grass a healthy length and not cut it too short. This helps it to better survive the summer heat without burning or drying out.
September: Aerate, Dethatch, Test Soil
For cool-season grasses, early fall is also a time when you can aerate your lawn. Again, you can also dethatch during early fall as well. This is also a good month to do a pH soil test to see what nutrients or fertilizers it might need for the winter months.
October: Rake and Seed
Time to get the rake and the leaf blower out to get rid of those pesky leaves. Leaves make good matter for composting, too. For cooler climes, mid-September through early October is a good time to seed your lawn. You’ll want to do that no later than 45 days before the first fall frost.
Now is a time to fertilize your lawn with a quality fertilizer. Consider using time-released nitrogen, which will help to feed your lawn until spring. If you need help choosing fertilizer, check out these articles:
December: Let it Be
Let your lawn be. This is its dormant season.