A Successful Lawn Care Schedule Goes Year Round
It isn’t difficult to begin to plan for how you will take care of your lawn at the growing season comes along. As the grass begins to become green in the spring and you begin to see things to be done like attend to weeds, the desire to get out there weekends and take care of it is something you and all of your neighbors experience. The truth is, however, that the best way to do a really good job of caring for your lawn is to have a schedule that goes year round and to attend to the needs of your living yard in every season of the year.
Of course as you might expect the winter months are going to be less active where what you are doing for your yard does not call for you to be out there cutting and fertilizing it every weekend. That is why the winter months are good times to get the maintenance done to your lawn mower and to prepare for the more active months in the spring. It is also a good time to inspect the yard to see if there are places where you will be seeding or working to help the grass fill in when the grass comes to life in the spring.
Depending on your climate in the deep winter, your main objective may be just to get ready for spring and to try to minimize the damage from freezing. That means trying to keep from walking or using equipment on a frozen yard to cut down on braking the grass stalks before they can regenerate in the spring. If your climate is milder or if you have those occasional “Indian summers”, it is always good to get a maintenance mow in to clean up the fallen leaves and to open up the yard for further growth in the spring. You can also “aureate” the soil by walking the yard down with spiked shoes on during the late fall or days when the weather is milder. This allows oxygen to get down into the soil which encourages irrigation and growth year round.
Late winter and early spring then is the time to get out ahead of the other things you don’t want in your hard. So starting early with a good pre-emergent weed killer along with some early spring fertilizer gives your hard a head start on coming in full with less interference from weeds. This is also a good time to get out there with the rake to get up any remaining debris from the fall and winter. The raking can also stimulate the soil which encourages growth.
The schedule of yard care is pretty much well understood for the spring and summer months with a continuous routine of mowing, fertilizing and weed control. When fall comes along, then you should think about post emergent to prepare the yard for the winter and to cut down on the viability of weeds taking root in the milder fall weeks. By continuing to have a plan for care and maintenance of your yard month after month, you cut down on the work of lawn care when things get active again next year. And in doing so your lawn stays healthier and more productive year round.
A Successful Lawn Care Schedule Goes Year Round
New Lawn Care Means Getting It Right the First Time
It doesn’t happen very often but if you are looking out of the windows of your new home at a plot of bare dirt because you decided to establish your new lawn yourself, you might feel a little intimidated. But this is a rare opportunity to lay down a superior lawn from the very beginning. And that strong start may be the beginning of a lawn that continues to grow in lush and full each year and that resists disease and weeds even better than average lawns.
You made the right decision if you decided not to let the builder put in the lawn. Builders are not master gardeners and while they would put in a lawn that would probably grow, they are not going to look at this project in terms of a decades long investment in your yard. They just want to get the job done as cheaply as possible so you will sign off on the job so they can move on to the next job. But by keeping this job back until how it is done passes your scrutiny, you can make sure that before the first seed is dropped or piece of sod is unrolled, the soil was prepared and everything is as it should be.
Many times, there will be preparation of the soil to be done. This is a perfect time to have the soil evaluated for acidic levels and to determine that it is rich enough to support a strong yard. If not, you can have lime treatments done and do other remedial work to the soil before the grass goes down. You can also turn the soil and smooth it out as well as add compost and other rich nutrients so your new grass will have a great bed of soil to start its new life with.
You also have a lot of choices about what kind of grass to put in. The choices will impact the look and the health of your yard. This is a good time to make it your passion to learn all you can about how different varieties of grass do in your part of the country and how they would fit on your plot of land. Some grasses such as Bermuda grass are tough and spread well but it loves the open sun and lots of heat. If you have a shady lot or you don’t get that much heat where you live, look at other grasses more adaptable to where you are.
All of this preparation will serve you well. Also, consider whether to go with a seed based installation or sod. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Seed will probably give you a more assured installation and sometimes sod comes with weeds already started along with the grass. But seed takes a lot of watering and care in the first months of yard life so be sure you are prepared to make that kind of commitment. If you do and you have done your preparations well, you are assured of a beautiful lawn that will take root and continue to be healthy and make your home look beautiful for many years to come.
Being Smart in the Use of Any Lawn Care Product
If you walk out in your garage, you probably have dozens of bottles of different products you may have bought over the years for your yard. The lawn products industry does a good job of convincing us that we need to spray something on our yard for just about any yard related correction we need to make. And the outcome is you often find yourself overrun with half used bottles of everything from broadleaf weed killer to sprays to kill grubs that might (or might not) be eating the roots of your grass and attracting moles.
This is not to say that these various products are not effective because they may very well do exactly what their labels say they will do. But no product can replace your judgment and wise decision making about how to use different products so you not only do what is best for your lawn but do so in an environmentally responsible way. Being smart in what products to use on your lawn and how to use them just makes sense and if you have a plan for each potential problem, you may not have to buy so many lawn chemicals which will make your garage easier to manage as well.
A good example is weed control. The purpose of weed control is twofold. First, you want to get rid of weeds because they look terrible in your lawn and you don’t want your yard to degenerate into a wild field. Secondly, you want to discourage weeds so they don’t crowd out your grass and take away valuable water, nutrients and sunlight from the vegetable life you want to see thrive on your property.
The chemical approach to handling weeds then is to kill them. Broadleaf weed killers are good for some of the problem weeds because they cause the weeds to wither and die which leaves room for healthy grass to spread and grow into the available space. However, whenever you spray a liquid weed killer on your lawn, the potential for damage to the root systems of trees or that the toxins will kill desirable non-grass plants like flowers or bushes is a real concern.
So one way to head off the problem before it starts is to do your lawn treatment in the early fall and then the late winter by putting out a pre-emergent product which does not kill weeds. Instead is simply prevents germination of weed seeds that are lying dormant in the ground. When the weeds cannot germinate and grow into mature plants, that gives your grass the chance to grow and spread with the aid of the limited application of fertilizers. This is smart weed control and an approach that takes care of the problem before it really takes over your yard.
You can use some common sense and wise advice from your local expert gardeners that you can find working at one of the better greenhouses in your community to devise a smart plan for handling just about any lawn related problem. You may still find yourself using chemical products to get a problem area under control. But by being smart before you buy, you are using the right chemicals and not just anything that you find that will only clutter up your garage even further.