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
Lawn Care Products That You and Everybody Else Can Live With
Any trip to the lawn care section of Wal-Mart or your local hardware store will bring home dramatically that the variety and quantity of chemical fertilizers and other products to take care of your yard is pretty overwhelming. So the natural question that has to come to mind especially in our current world where “green” considerations enter into every aspect of daily life is, “What will all these chemicals do to the environment?”
If you have become accustomed to asking that question about most of your purchase decisions as many of us have, you have made the transition to the motto of “think globally, act locally.” The very act of walking down your yard with a spreader and watching those granules of chemicals spew across your land makes you wonder if what you are giving to your grass is good for the rest of the world.
For one thing, many lawn products such as fertilizers and pesticides are not at all good for pets or wildlife. How often have you looked out your window after a big application of fertilizer or weed killer and watched the birds land in your yard and eat things from the ground as they always do. Watching nature in your yard is one of the joys of having a home. But if you suspect that you might be poisoning nature as those birds innocently find things to eat in your yard, that takes a lot of the joy out of what you are doing.
You may also have pets to think about. Try as you might, if you have a domestic dog or cats and they go outside ever, they will chew on the vegetation out there. Taking some small quantities of grass or leaves helps their digestion. That assumes, of course, that what they are eating is natural and not coated with life threatening poisons intended for weeds or to fertilize the grass.
It is with these concerns in mind that many of us have turned to natural alternatives for fertilizers and other lawn products. Just as you are “going green”, so are many of the industries that sell products for the home. And what better place to “go green” than in your yard where you are working hard to make your grass grow green and healthy and to create your own tiny example of a healthy environment.
So look for products that specifically state that the chemicals are organic and that they are safe for pets and wildlife alike. Yes, those products are out there and you can look to see this category of lawn products become more evident as the green movement picks up steam. You might have to pay a few more dollars for fertilizers and weed control chemicals that are in harmony with the environment and are safe for Fido or Fluffy to taste. But in the end, a strong environment and a healthy yard for the birds, your animals and even your children to frolic is what “home” is all about.
Some Easy Lawn Care Tips for a Healthy Happy Yard
Unlike taking care of your house or your car, the unique variable in caring for your yard is that it is alive. That stand of grass is just as much a living thing as your dog, your cat or you for that matter. And like all life forms, it requires the basics of life which is food, water and in the case of plants, good sunlight. But unlike your kids or your dog, the tips you need to keep your yard happy and productive are very easy to do if you just take the time on a regular basis to give your yard some tender loving care.
Just as you would not think of letting your animals or kids go without water, water is the heart of a good program to take care of healthy grass. Of course, you can water a yard too much. But if you run the sprinkler on the yard for a half hour or so or until the water begins to run off, you will see the results in a rich green turf. The best time to water is the morning because more of the water is absorbed by the grass before evaporation takes its toll. A terrible time to water is late at night because that can cause fungus problems.
Each year there is some maintenance that you can do that will help your yard be in tiptop shape when the summer is upon you. All lawns go through changed and need help getting back to what you want in a lush, full spread of grass. So inspect your grass as the season ends to determine where some remedial work might pay off before the next growing season gets going.
By clearing out any areas that have become bare, you can seed that ground at the end of the growing season, which gives the seed the winter months to settle in. Do your routine watering which you should cut back slowly as your grass begins to go into hibernation. But that watering will help the new seed “set” to be ready to sprout in the spring. You can also use some quick start fertilizer if you want to see sprouts right away. But if the soil has been fertilized and has some nutrients in it, that isn’t always necessary.
Other annual or seasonal activities that you should plan into your yard maintenance plan are fertilization and aeration. Aeration involves creating small holes in your yard to create room for air and living things to move under the surface. These natural elements in the ecosystem must be able to access the root system to provide vital nutrients to your grass’s root system. Aeration may be as simple as walking every foot of your yard with spiked shoes on so the soil is opened up for further growth. There are specialized tools and services for aeration so consult with your local greenhouse on what is commonly needed for your soil.
By keeping up on the weed and feed and weekly and monthly maintenance, you can assure that your lawn will be healthy and green when the season is in full swing and you really want it to look good. And you feel good because you have learned to take good care of it just like you do everything involving your family and your home.