A Year-Round Yard Maintenance Schedule

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • January 23, 2017

Make Sure Your Yard Is Taken Care Of All Year

At Killingsworth, we usually write very specific lawn care guides down to the nitty-gritty, but with the year just starting, we wanted to give you a lawn care guide for all of 2017 – the big picture.

Winter

Let’s start with winter because in NC we all know spring is a long ways away.

The cold, dormant months are ideal 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.

Generally, before the first freeze, you should give your lawn a thorough fertilizing to replace all of the nutrients that can be lost from the soil during the hot months prior. Then, as the weather gets colder, the fertilizer remains in the soil and feeds your lawn’s roots all winter long.

You should also consider mulching your plant beds. This is not only an aesthetic benefit but also acts as a shield against harsh winter weather. Having over 1.5 inches of mulch keeps the roots of your plants warm and protected.

Also, take this time for ‘garage keeping.’ Prepare all your tools, organize your area, and sharpen your blades (lawn mower, saws) to ensure clean cuts.

Spring

In the spring your yard will be slowly waking up and that means it’s time to put the big boots on.

Start by testing the soil to see what you’re working with, looking for the pH level to see if your current soil is acidic, neutral or alkaline.

Based on these results, you will be able to determine your next steps. Generally, spring is a good time to fertilize your lawn, just as your grass begins its most active growth.

For best results, you should run an aerator over your lawn. Aerating your lawn is important for producing a stronger, healthier lawn. Aerators punch small holes in your lawn so water, fertilizers, and oxygen reach grassroots. Pick a day when the soil is damp but not soaked so the aeration machine can work efficiently. Then follow with your fertilizer. For best results, closely follow the application directions on the product.

Summer

Summer vacation is not a thing when it comes to lawn care. This season will actually require the most maintenance for that beautiful grass.

Under normal summer conditions, your lawn needs about one inch of rain per week. So if you notice that it hasn’t rained in a week, make sure to give it a good watering. It’s important to do heavy watering less frequently, instead of frequent, brief watering, which leads to shallow roots.

We also tweak lawn heights in the summer months and let the grass grow a little longer (to prevent it from burning in the sun). The added height helps your grass absorb more water, grow longer roots, and be 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 to keep up. Be sure that you’re not removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one mow.

Just as fast as grass grows, weeds will try to take over in the summer. For weed removal, consider doing an application of an herbicide, then removing the remaining weeds by hand or with a garden fork. Follow up with a post-emergent herbicide if you think the situation is getting out of hand.

For a more in-depth look at summer lawn care, check out our Summer Home Maintenance Guide.

Fall

We talked about how we usually raise the height on lawn mowers to reduce heat stress on our lawn in the summer…well, when the weather begins to cool off, we drop the height back down to normal and can slow down on how often we mow.

Instead, focus on fall fertilization for future lawn growth. In the fall, grass grows much slower; however, grass roots still grow fast. Use fertilizer in the fall to deliver much-needed nutrients to your grass, keeping nutrients stored for a healthy spring.

You can find all these tips and more in our fall lawn care guide.

There you have it, a year of yard work! It might seem intimidating, but when you break it down and take it a season at a time, you’ll find you have great grass year round.

If you need any help along the way, reach out to our yard care team and we’ll be happy to assist you in your yard maintenance. Also, check out our Killingsworth Workbook: Lawn Care Tips, Tricks, and Checklists for more!

And be sure to take advantage of our current special offers! We currently offer 10% off attic insulation, and $250 off select whole home water filtration systems!

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