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Get a Handle on Routine Lawn Care with This ChecklistFebruary 7th, 2017 by
The curb appeal of any home is largely dependent on the condition of the front yard. No matter how nice the house looks, a scruffy lawn will detract from the overall appeal. Because maintaining the landscape can be a daunting task if you don’t have the help of a professional yard maintenance company, we’ve compiled a lawn care schedule that can keep you on track and motivated to maintain the integrity of your front yard.
General Yard Care
Your lawn and landscape plants grow and change on a daily basis, so they require constant monitoring. However, you don’t necessarily need to take major maintenance steps every day. Plan on your yard maintenance schedule including these tasks:
- Watering: How often and how much depends on where you live and what type of grasses, plants, and soil you have.
- Mowing: Generally done once per week.
- Edging: Clean lines boost your home’s curb appeal.
- Fertilizing: Usually a seasonal task.
- Weeding: Keep on top of pesky weeds by addressing them often.
- Repairs: Dead spots, pet damage, and crabgrass require touch-up work.
You likely don’t want to spend your entire weekend on yard work, but you might enjoy a few hours of lawn care tasks on a Sunday afternoon during the spring, summer, and fall. Completing these standard weekly projects will keep the yard in tip-top shape:
- Watering: Depending on your climate, it is better to soak your lawn once per week than to give it a just little water every day. Of course, if you live in a desert climate, more frequent watering may be required. The best time of day to water the lawn is in the early morning, so set your sprinkler system to run when the sun is rising. If you don’t have an automatic system, water with the hose in the early evening.
- Mowing: This weekly task is a classic weekend activity. Set your mower to the proper height before getting started. Remove only one-third of the grass stem in order to keep your turf looking lush. In the spring, you might have to perform this task every three to five days instead of every seven to ten since the grass is actively growing during this season. The important thing is to keep your grass at the right height—not too long or short—which will help you maintain the health and appearance of your lawn.
- Weeding: A short walk around your yard should reveal any pesky weeds that have popped up in recent days. Take a spade with you on the stroll, and pull any bad actors you find. Be sure to get the root, or it will just grow back. Avoid using chemical weed killers if possible. These can pollute groundwater, and hand-pulling is a faster method. This would also be a good time to scan the yard for any sticks or rocks that could get in the way during mowing.
- Edging: Look for blades of grass that have grown where they don’t belong. Keep the delineation between grass and flowerbeds clear and tidy with mulch. If you have any border plants, make sure that you keep them in check with pruning. After mowing, use edging shears to trim down blades of grass that hang over the edge of your lawn or flowerbeds.
- Repairs: If your dogs have damaged your lawn or there are other patch jobs on your checklist, plan to address them weekly. First determine if the area needs any additional soil, and then remove the damaged grass and reseed the area with the proper mix of grass varieties. You may need to water the repair daily to help promote seed growth. The frequency and amount of water will depend on the current temperatures in your area.
Strategies by Season
In addition to weekly attention, your yard needs more significant TLC throughout the year.
- Early spring: Clean-up time. Trim shrubs, hedges, and trees. Look for depressions where snow may have compacted the ground. If there are any, plan to aerate the turf later in the season.
- Mid-spring: Remove any dead debris. Aerate your lawn, particularly if you have clay-heavy soil or warm-climate grass varieties. Prevent future crabgrass growth by applying a pre-emergent herbicide. You may need to start mowing the grass, but set the mower to remove only the tips of the blades. Longer grass is healthier grass.
- Late spring and summer: Fertilize your lawn in its entirety. This time of year also brings with it more weeds to pull.
- Fall: Reseed if needed. Take one last chance to remove weeds. Give your lawn a second dose of fertilizer to help it through the winter. Mow the grass one last time before it goes dormant.
These easy lawn care tips should help you stay organized and on track throughout the year. With diligence and care, your landscape can improve both your home’s curb appeal and your leisure time outdoors.