We hate to break it to you, but landscaping and lawn care isn’t a one-and-done project. Your yard’s needs vary greatly by season, which is why year-round lawn maintenance is essentially the difference between life and death — for your lawn, that is. If you’re a dedicated gardener, or a homeowner just wanting a nice-looking yard, you probably know that each season brings its own changes in precipitation, sunlight levels, soil nutrients, and so on. You also understand these are factors your lawn, trees, and landscape are sensitive to. Seasonal yard maintenance is incredibly important because it helps your lawn, trees, and landscape properly transition into the next season. Think of it this way, the work you put in now is actually for the next upcoming season, and that’s where you’ll see the results. With a little seasonal care, your lawn and plants will be able to gracefully take each season as it comes!
April showers bring May flowers... and weeds, and lawn disease, and changes in the soil’s pH levels, and — well, you get the idea. Once spring comes around, your yard will begin slowly ‘waking’ up from being dormant during the winter. Start by testing the soil’s nutrient levels to see what you’re working with. Check the current pH level to determine if your soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline. This will give you an idea of what your grass, shrubs, trees, and flower beds need in terms of nutrients and in order to bloom as summer gets closer. Based on these results, you’ll be able to determine what type of fertilizer is needed to promote growth and get rid of weeds.Before the summer sun can encourage the growth of unwanted weeds, apply a pre-emergent weed killer in early spring. This will prevent weeds from popping up later and taking over your lawn. A pre-emergent herbicide is used before the weed has emerged, while a post-emergent herbicide is used directly on a weed after it has emerged. The heavy rain that comes this time of year can cause flooding and produce overly wet lawns. If you haven’t already, significantly reduce the amount of water you give your lawn to avoid drowning the grass and the growth of fungus. This is especially important in areas that don’t receive a lot of sunlight and aren’t able to fully dry out.
The hottest of all the seasons, summer can take a toll on your yard. From heat waves to long hours of direct sunlight, make sure your yard is ready to take on these warmer months!This season will actually require the most maintenance for beautiful grass. Under normal summer conditions, your lawn only needs about one inch of rain per week. So, if you notice that it hasn’t rained in the past week, make sure to give your lawn a good watering! Keep in mind, it’s best to soak your lawn less frequently than to give it a small amount of water more often. The latter causes shallow roots!Additionally, you’ll want to tweak the height of your mower blades in the summer months. Letting the grass grow longer than usual can prevent it from burning in the sun. The added height helps your grass with a number of things like; absorbing more water, growing longer roots, and becoming more drought resistant.By mid-summer, your grass will start to grow relatively fast, which means you might be cutting more than once a week just to keep up! Be sure that you’re not removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mow. And just as fast as grass grows, weeds will also try to take over. For weed removal, consider a light application of herbicide, then removing the remaining weeds by hand or with a garden tool. A fork will even do the trick!
Just because the leaves are about to drop doesn’t mean you should just let them be! You still need to carry out some of your year-round lawn maintenance in the fall to help it transition to the upcoming months.Although we told you to raise the height on the lawn mower in the summer, now it’s time to do the opposite. When the weather begins to cool off, drop the mowing height back down to normal and reduce how often you mow.Now is the time to focus on fall fertilization for future lawn growth. In the fall, grass grows much slower; however, the grassroots are still growing, and fast. Use fertilizer to deliver much-needed nutrients to your grass so it can keep them stored until springtime.Generally, fall is a good time to fertilize your lawn if you have cool-season grass. To get the most out of fertilizing, consider aerating your lawn for the ultimate year-round lawn maintenance. Aerating can make your grass stronger, and more likely to better handle heavy rain and bounce back from foot traffic. It might seem like you’re harming your lawn by punching small holes into the grass, but doing this allows water, fertilizers, and oxygen to reach the grassroots more easily. To aerate the lawn yourself, pick a day when the soil is damp — but not soaked. Once done, follow up with an application of fertilizer to enhance further growth. Just be sure to closely follow the application directions, and be mindful of trees and shrubs that may need additional care.A Note: The cool weather also encourages pests, like insects and mice, to find warmth and shelter in your home. Check out NC’s common fall pests and how to control them.
Wintertime means cold weather, gloomy days, and dormant plants. But like fall, that doesn’t mean your yard doesn’t need any care! The cold months of winter are the ideal time for pruning and trimming your perennial plants. Plants like hostas, peonies, daisies, and liriope, as well as the vast majority of shrubs and hedges, can be pruned and primed for the upcoming spring.Also use this time to mulch your plant beds and trees. Not only used as an aesthetic benefit, mulch acts as a shield against the harsh winter weather. Adding about two inches of any mulch material, like pine needles or wood chips, keeps the roots of your plants warm and protected.Lastly, set aside time in the winter for ‘garage keeping’. Prepare all your tools, organize your outdoor areas, and sharpen your lawn mower blades to ensure clean cuts when spring rolls back around.Related blog post: To keep an eye on potential weeds that can rear their head in the cold, read our blog post on identifying cool-season grass weeds.
How to Get Professional Year-Round Lawn Maintenance
With so many steps that need to be done, it can be tricky to know what to do when it comes to year-round lawn maintenance. Fortunately, we can help. We offer year-round lawn care services so you never have to worry about pH levels, fertilizers, and pruning ever again.Putting time and money into your lawn is always worth the investment. Schedule an appointment for our top notch lawn care service.
This blog post was originally posted on January of 2017 and was refreshed in April of 2020.
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