Lawn Care Calendar: Your Month-by-Month Lawn Maintenance Guide
Lawns that look beautiful all year round are cared for…
…You guessed it, all year round.
No other part of your garden needs as much attention as your lawn. No wonder many lawn owners are put off, the task of caring for a lawn seems huge.
The good news is that it isn’t, especially when you break down the lawn care calendar month-by-month.
So in this article, that exactly what we’re going to do.
There’s a caveat to everything I’ve written in this lawn care calendar…
…And that’s the weather.
Everything in this article is meant to be a guide only. Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather so you’ll have to use your best judgement when it comes to the timing of individual tasks.
Some years, if the weather is on our side, we can start certain tasks a little earlier than normal. Sometimes though, you might have to wait a little longer.
Don’t stick to this lawn calendar like glue just because it’s in black and white on the screen. Take a look at what the weather is doing and plan your jobs around that.
Spring Lawn Care Calendar
Spring is the season to help your lawn recover after the stresses of winter. It’s also about preparing it for the different kinds of stresses that summer brings.
Jobs For March
March is when the lawn care calendar really kicks off.
As soon as the grass starts to grow and the ground conditions are favourable, give the lawn its first cut of the year.
This first cut should only take the top off the grass, don’t cut it too short. If you do, you’ll risk stressing the grass and stunting its growth.
If winter has brought about an onset of moss, March is also a good time to apply a moss killer. Even the smallest amount of moss will spore and spread quickly under the right conditions. Apply your preferred moss killer to get it under control. Any infected areas will start to blacken as it dies.
Also, while the ground is soft, neaten up the edges of your lawn with a half-moon edging iron if needed.
Jobs For April
Raking and scarifying can start in April.
If you applied a moss killer in March then now is the time to remove it with either a springbok rake or a powered lawn rake.
If you scarify heavily, make sure you keep on top of any weeds over the next few weeks.
Spring is also the time for overseeding (especially after raking or scarifying) and top dressing if you’re after perfection.
Give your lawn its first feed with a spring/summer granular fertiliser.
Grass growth will start to increase in April so you might need to mow a little more frequently.
While growth conditions start to improve, do any repairs.
If you want to re-turf or sow a new lawn from seed, do it now.
Jobs For May
Grass growth should be in full swing by the time May rolls around so increase your cutting frequency to every 5-7 days.
Gradually lower the cutting height of your lawn mower if you like a closer cut. Only lower the height of the mower by one setting each time you mow to avoid cutting off too much.
In most cases, May is the best time to apply a selective weedkiller to the whole lawn, especially if you raked or scarified in April.
Apply your weed killer on a fine, still and dry day.
The soil should still be fairly moist in May but if there is a period of prolonged dry weather, water your lawn to prevent drought stress heading into the summer months.
Water once a week, in the early mornings to around an inch depth.
Summer Lawn Care Calendar
Summer is about keeping on top of the work you did during spring and is really a time to enjoy your lawn and garden as you relax, play and entertain friends and family.
Jobs For June
If your jobs in the spring went well, your lawn should look pretty good heading into the summer.
Keep mowing the lawn but if the weather starts to dry, raise the height of the mower and cut a little less frequently. If you can, leave the clippings on the lawn. They will degrade and put the goodness and moisture back onto the soil.
You might also choose to water your lawn in prolonged periods of dry weather. Keep on top of any weeds by treating them with a selective spot spray weed killer.
If your lawn is lacking vibrancy, give it a boost of nutrients and colour with a fast-acting, liquid lawn feed.
Jobs For July
Grass growth should have slowed down by now so keep the mower a little higher and cut a little less frequently. Again, leave the clippings on the grass.
Also, keep your spot spray weed killer on hand to blast any weeds that make an appearance.
It can sometimes be dry during July so water the lawn if necessary. If you do choose to water, water once a week, early in the mornings to a depth of around an inch.
If your lawn is looking a little lacklustre give it a dose of liquid lawn feed to boost colour. However, be careful when applying liquid fertiliser in dry conditions as it can scorch the grass.
If you water weekly you’ll have no issues applying a liquid feed.
Jobs For August
August is very similar to July in terms of the jobs that need doing.
Keep the lawn mower on a higher setting and mow at the same frequency. Ideally, you should keep the clippings on the lawn and let them disintegrate back into the turf, keeping the moisture and goodness where it needs to be.
Keep watering the lawn if needed. Again, once a week, in the early morning to an inch depth.
This is the last month to apply a high-nitrogen, summer liquid fertiliser (if needed).
If you’re planning on re-turfing or sowing a new lawn in the Autumn, start to prepare the ground now.
Autumn Lawn Care Calendar
Autumn is often the busiest time in the lawn care calendar as you help your lawn recover from the heat of summer and prepare it for the extremes of winter.
It’s also the best time to carry out invasive repairs.
Jobs For September
The rains will return which improves grass growth so you’ll need to increase your mowing frequency again. If you like a nice, close cut then gradually lower the mowing height.
You might see a pick up in worm activity again so keep the lawn free of leaves and brush any worm casts back into the lawn.
If your lawn is in good shape, apply a granular autumn/winter fertiliser.
If you need to make repairs do them first. September is the best time for deep scarification, intensive raking and relieving compaction through hollow tine aerating.
You should also overseed now, especially after invasive treatments. Serious gardeners should also top dress their lawns.
Also, if you want to sow a new lawn or lay turf, now is the time.
Jobs For October
Regular mowing comes to an end in October, so, raise the height of the mower for the last cut or two. Also, trim the edges of the lawn so it’s tidy for the winter.
Worm casts will still be an issue you need to deal with, especially now the leaves are falling off the trees.
It’s too late now to sow a new lawn but you can still lay turf.
Jobs For November
November marks the winding down of the lawn care calendar.
Keep on top of worm casts by brushing them back into the lawn and removing fallen leaves to reduce their surface activity.
If the weather is still good (neither frosty or wet) then set the lawn mower high and give your lawn its very last cut of the year.
Winter Lawn Care Calendar
Winter is a quiet part of the lawn care calendar and for the most part, you can keep tucked up nice and warm.
That said, there are still a few jobs to do.
Jobs For December
Keep brushing the leaves off the lawn to avoid the onset of disease.
If it’s mild and the worms are still active, keep removing their casts.
Jobs For January
There is very little work to do in January apart from collecting fallen leaves and other debris that might have blown in.
In terms of the grass, there’s nothing you can do to aid growth in the cold and often wet weather.
While it’s damp and cool, feel free to apply a dose of iron sulphate to keep the moss at bay and give the lawn a nice boost of green colour.
However, keep off the lawn if it’s frosty or overly wet. Walking on it now could damage the grass leaves.
Right now is a good time to get your lawn mower serviced and make sure your other lawn care tools are ready for use in spring.
Jobs For February
Like January, February is a pretty uneventful month in the lawn care calendar.
With the weather becoming milder you might notice worm casts appearing again. So deal with those and keep the leaves off your lawn.
If you’re planning to sow a new lawn or lay new turf in the spring, now is a good time to start preparing the ground.
Your lawn takes up more time than any other plant in your garden. So much time in fact, that many people are put off by the workload.
By breaking that workload down into a monthly lawn care calendar, it becomes much less intimidating.
Now you can have a beautiful looking lawn all year round. Like I said at the beginning though, everything I’ve said in this post is very much dependant on the weather. We can’t control the weather so sometimes you might be able to start your jobs a little earlier, other times you’ll have to wait a little longer.