Many homeowners in Lancaster County enjoy caring for their lawn. Following a DIY lawn care schedule religiously helps keep your Lancaster lawn looking green, healthy and lush.
If you’re just getting started with your DIY lawn care, you may not be sure when to seed, when to fertilize or when to aerate. Or, you might not even know to do any of these things!
That’s okay. Everyone has to start somewhere. And we’re here with a DIY lawn care schedule for Lancaster, Pennsylvania that’s easy to follow and understand. We’ll spell it out for you in the blog post. Then, you can download a one-page schedule to help you stay on track.
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– Late Winter –
Your DIY lawn care schedule begins in late winter, around February.
If you have any thin or bare patches of grass, now is the time to overseed. You may need to rake the spot before laying down the seed to make sure the seed germinates in the soil. If you are unable to apply seed to your lawn in late winter, early spring is also a good time to do so.
– Early Spring –
Aerating your lawn means removing plugs of soil. Aeration is done to help your lawn absorb water and nutrients. It can also cut down on patch.
You can rent an aerator or have aeration done by professionals, like us.
You can control annual weeds (new every year) by applying a pre-emergent in the early spring. A pre-emergent, like Preen, will keep annual weeds from germinating and growing. A rule of thumb for putting down pre-emergent herbicide is to apply it when the forsythia is blooming, about the end of March or the beginning of April.
– Late Spring –
Apply your first round of fertilizer in late spring. Fertilizing your lawn is very important because your grass needs, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in addition to the nutrients it can get from your soil.
Again, a soil test will tell you how much of which nutrient needs to be applied to your lawn. You can get a soil test from Penn State Extension county offices for a nominal fee.
Most Lancaster lawns need nitrogen fertilizer in late spring. Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s label.
Your weed-controlling efforts will continue into late spring. Control broadleaf weeds, like dandelions, with a broadleaf herbicide. Apply the herbicide as needed, when you see weeds popping up.
We recommend mowing your lawn beginning in late spring. You may not need to do it again for some time, but that first cutting is important. See our recommendations for mowing your lawn in Lancaster. We also have information about what to do with your grass clippings.
– Summer –
You’ll be mowing your lawn more frequently in the summer, especially after periods of heavy rain. If the weather heats up or Lancaster experiences a drought, cut your grass less frequently.
– Late Summer to Early Fall –
Apply another round of fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Continue to mow your lawn, but less frequently. Again, see our lawn mowing recommendations.
Continue to spray broadleaf weeds with broadleaf weed herbicide, as needed.
– Early Fall –
We recommend seeding a new lawn or overseeding for bare patches in the fall. New grass plants have less competition from weeds for water, sun and nutrients in the fall. Plus, plants are naturally going dormant, so your new lawn doesn’t have to work as hard in the fall and winter to get established.
Thatch occurs when decomposing grass gets tangled in the roots of growing grass. Eventually, your lawn doesn’t get the air, water or nutrients it needs to grow healthy and lush.
You can remove thatch with the right equipment. You can rent dethatching equipment or ask a professional to dethatch your lawn.
Dethatching is only required when thatch is an inch or more thick. You don’t need to remove thatch every year. You’ll notice something like a grass carpet forming at the roots of your lawn.
You can aerate your lawn in the early spring or early fall, when temperatures are cool. Aeration will also help reduce thatch.
Once you remove plugs of soil from your lawn, allow the plugs to dry and then break them up so they don’t suffocate any of your grass.
You can also continue your weeding efforts. Although by now, weeds should be few and far between.
– Late Fall –
Your DIY lawn care doesn’t stop in late fall. Now is the time to apply lime to your lawn, if it’s needed.
Check the results of your soil test. Lancaster lawns should have a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If your soil is too acidic, apply lime according to the soil test recommendations.
We recommend applying lime in the fall because rain and snow during the winter helps the limestone get worked into the soil. You can also apply lime in the late winter.
Download DIY Lawn Care Schedule
That’s your DIY lawn care schedule. You can also download and print out this handy one-page schedule to keep you on track.
Of course, if you want to save yourself hours of back-breaking work taking care of your lawn, we are happy to step in and take over. Call us at (717) 951-5950 or contact us through this website.