The purpose of this article is to give you a quick overview of how to properly maintain your lawn and landscape in the Northern Kentucky area. Many of these principles would also apply to other areas with similar climates. I will not go into great detail on each task. I just wanted to make a quick, complete lawn care calendar guide to let you know when to do what. Hopefully after reading this you will be a little more prepared to properly maintain your lawn and landscape.
Spring time lawn care
In the spring things can get hectic in the lawn and landscape. Maybe the most important item is getting pre-emergent herbicide down on your lawn to help limit crab grass germination in the upcoming months. I don’t recommend going real heavy on the fertilizer at this time because the grass is growing fast enough on its own! Still, it is important to feed the turf so it has the nutrients needed for this rapid growth period.
The last thing regarding the turf in the spring is breaking out the mower. Your turf will be much healthier if you can maintain the same cut height throughout the growing season. You want to cut fescue grass at a height of 3.5 to 4 inches. Each mowing you should only remove 1/3 of the grass blade. Also, remember to keep your mower blades sharp and clean out your deck as needed from grass clipping build up. Leaving the clippings in the lawn instead of bagging will add an extra 1 pound of nitrogen to the soil over the season. Only bag if your lawn has gotten too long or you have a turf disease.
As for the landscape in the spring, first make sure you remove all debris left from the winter months. Leaving this in your lawn or beds can encourage fungus and disease. You can prune most summer and fall blooming plants at this time, as well as evergreens. Don’t prune your spring blooming plants or you may disrupt the blooms! Also apply pre-emergent in your beds to limit weeds. I personally like to wait to after the raining season to mulch, but this can really be done at anytime. If you want to install plants, spring is a great time, but if you don’t get the plants in before the summer heat sets in, it would probably be best to wait until the fall unless you are prepared to water a lot!
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Late spring and early summer
Its time to bust the weed control out! In the beds and the lawn. The earlier you get weeds under control, the less of an issue it will be for the remainder of the season. Selective herbicides will not harm your turf. Use a non-selective herbicide in the beds and cracks in your pavement, just be sure not to get any on the foliage of your plants. Also, be aware that on hot days, the herbicide can evaporate and damage foliage above where you sprayed. Continue with light fertilizer on the turf.
This is when I prefer to mulch. I think you get the most bang for you buck around this time. If your spring blooming plants are finished, you can prune them to shape at this time. You can still probably get away with installing new plants now too. After Mother's day is the rule of thumb date to install your summer annuals.
Mid to late summer
This is when you will want to apply your preventative grub control. Grubs are becoming more and more prevalent and it is probably best to treat for this before you have a problem. Grubs can cause severe damage by eating the root system of the turf. Also, if we are not getting adequate water from rain fall, this is when you will want to water. Watering once or twice a week will get the job done. The key is to water deep, not often. You want the roots to dig down in the soil to reach that water. Only watering for a short period of time will encourage a shallow root system and may very well do more harm than good.
This is also a great time to tackle any retaining wall or paver patio project. Same goes for landscape lighting and water features. Although these can be done at almost any point throughout the year, if you plan on hiring a contractor to do this, during mid to late summer they will have more available time and you may get a slightly better price.
Fall lawn care
Things really start happening again in the fall in the lawn and landscape. I recommend aerating every fall if you pride yourself on having a nice lawn. Overseeding will be most successful in the fall as well. Even if your lawn is nice and thick, I recommend to overseed every 5 years as grass plants age just like anything else. You will also want to apply the bulk of fertilizer to your lawn now. Once in early fall, and once later in the fall will get you the best results.
The fall is also the ideal time to install plants. The root system of all plants are most active in the fall. This is why seeding and plantings tend to do better when done in the fall. Getting your annual flowers in early in the fall will get you the most bang for your buck.
This is when you will want to prune all applicable plants to leave them looking nice for the holidays. If your mulch has washed away, it would be a good idea to at least mulch around the base of your plants to keep them insulated over the winter. Touching up your main mulch beds would also be a nice touch for the holidays.
The last item you don’t want to neglect in the fall is leaf removal. Like I stated earlier, leaving the leaves can lead to fungus and disease which can quickly damage your lawn and landscape pretty significantly. Many localities offer curb side pickup, you may want to look into that if you want to tackle this yourself. If you need help with snow removal, please contact companies now to set up service. Most companies only provide commercial snow removal, so you may have to do some searching to find a provider for this.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please contact us at Loyal Green if you need a lawn mowing or lawn treatment service. We have a lot of DIY lawn care tips on our website and we also are happy to refer you to our friends in the industry for services we don’t provide. Now you can relax! It is time to take the winter off.