The best way to keep a healthy, green lawn year-round is to adhere to a consistent and proper schedule of lawn care maintenance. When you take care of your lawn, it is able to repel threats from pests, diseases, and weeds.
These lawn enemies will use any vulnerability to try and take-over your lawn. Read through this comprehensive guide and we’ll explain all the things you must do if you want a healthy and robust lawn.
The main components of a successful weed control program revolve around 4 things:
- Soil testing/soil rejuvenation
Pre-emergent herbicides are chemical products that kill weeds before they begin to grow. These products release a growth-inhibiting chemical that kills weeds as they begin to sprout.
Pre-emergents are applied as a preventative measure and when used correctly, they are very effective.
Pre-emergents should be applied twice per year. Once during the months February-May and once sometime from August-November.
Timing is critically important when using pre-emergents. If they are applied at the wrong time, they will not be effective.
You need to know which weeds you’re battling before choosing a product because some pre-emergents target specific weeds.
Common weeds that can be treated with pre-emergents:
- Poa annua
Post-emergent herbicides are chemical products used to kill weeds that have already grown. They are used to target weeds that you can visibly see.
Post-emergent products should be applied 1-2 times yearly, anytime from April-September. Soil temperatures need to be at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Common weeds that can be treated with post-emergent products:
- Poa annua
Fertilization is the ‘food’ your lawn needs to grow dense blades with strong root systems. The main ingredients in all fertilizers are some combination of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K).
Different fertilizers have different amounts of these nutrients. You will need to test your soil to determine which is the right fertilizer for your lawn. Most homeowners use synthetic fertilizers in either a liquid or granular form.
Fertilizers also come in a slow-release or an all-mineral form. Slow release means nutrients are released slowly, over time, whereas all-mineral fertilizers will secrete all nutrients as soon as they’ve been watered in.
Soil testing/soil rejuvenation
When you test your soil, you will find out exactly which nutrients your lawn is lacking. The soil around North Texas is known for having lower amounts of nitrogen than other areas.
Rocky or sandy soils will often become dried out, which will cause the nutrients to be unable to reach the lawn roots. Soil rejuvenation is when you provide the nutrients to your lawn that it needs.
This process is more involved than just putting fertilizer down. Ryno Lawn Care will come out, test your soil, and then execute a plan specifically designed to improve and rejuvenate your soil.
Lawn mowing, obviously, is an essential component in maintaining a healthy lawn. During the active growing season, your lawn should be mowed weekly.
Ryno Lawn Care recommends switching to bi-weekly or monthly mowing once your lawn has gone dormant. Never mow more than ⅓ of the grass blades off at one time. This will damage your lawn.
When thinking about when and how often to water your lawn, the rule of thumb is to water infrequently, but thoroughly when you do water. It is better to water well 1-2 times a week than it is to water every day.
The average lawn needs about 1 inch of water, twice a week. In order to find out how long to run your sprinklers, set out a few tuna cans across your lawn.
Water until the cans have 1 inch of water in them. However long it took the cans to reach 1 inch is how long you need to set your timers.
Water in the early morning, so the grass roots have plenty of time to absorb the water before the sun comes out. Do not water at mid-day because the sun will evaporate the water before it reaches the soil.
Do not water at night because some water will pool in the soil and roots, causing fungal growth to develop and spread.
If you’re still unsure about how long and when you should be watering your lawn, take a look at our, “Lawn Watering Guide,” for more information. Or call Ryno Lawn Care today and one of our lawn care specialists will come out and assess your lawn irrigation system today.
Aeration and Dethatching
Aeration is important because it loosens the soil, which allows nutrients to reach the soil in a more efficient manner and it also helps the grass root system to develop.
Lawn aeration makes grass more tolerant of heat and drought. It also helps the grass to recover quickly from foot traffic.
There are two main types of aeration. One is core aeration, which is removing plugs of soil from your lawn. The second method is aerovating, which uses a machine with vibrating tines to break up the soil.
Dethatching is when you remove dead grass or organic matter that is laying between the grass blades and the soil. The process of dethatching helps regulate soil temperature and preserves soil’s moisture levels.
A modest layer of thatch can be beneficial to your lawn, but any layer over ½ inch, can be harmful. Use a rake or a dethatcher to complete this job.
In order to prepare your lawn for the tough winter months, a leaf clean-up is necessary. Leaving leaves on your lawn can lead to fungal infections and mold. Both are difficult to eliminate once they’ve spread.
When your lawn has an excess build-up of leaves, sunlight and oxygen are not able to get through. This will cause your grass to die. Wet leaves are also dangerous because they become very slippery.
- Water less
- Switch to bi-weekly mows
- Rake away debris
- Fill in bare spots with sod or seed
- Continue with regular weed and pest control
- Put down pre-emergents for winter weeds
- Aerate your lawn
- Rake away debris
- Water less
- Bi-weekly mows until first frost
- Continue to hand-pull weeds
- Reduce height of mower blades
- Put down pre-emergents for spring/summer weeds
- As needed, put down post emergents
- Test soil
- Lay down sod or seed to fill in bare spots
- Begin mowing again
- Put down post-emergents
- Set mower blades higher
- Water adequately
- Pull left-over weeds
When you take care of your lawn, it is able to eliminate threats from weeds and pests. A healthy and robust lawn is also more adept at battling various weather conditions such as, snow, sleet, rain, drought, heat, etc.
Proper care and maintenance of your lawn will guarantee you that lush, green carpet of lawn that you’ve always wanted. You don’t have to do it all yourself though. Ryno Lawn Care is here to help. Call us today to get all your lawn care questions answered and get on our schedule.
View PDF: Complete Lawn Care Schedule for Texas