Do It Yourself Lawn Care Schedule

Do It Yourself Lawn Care Schedule


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To keep your lawn in tip top shape throughout the mowing season you’re going to need to do a little more than buy a good robotic lawn mower. Even though these mowers do take a lot of the hassle out of lawn maintenance, they can’t do everything, so you’ll have to do a few jobs here and there.

With the changing seasons come different weather conditions, so the types of jobs you’ll have to do will change throughout the year. That’s why I’ve broken up this post into sections, according to the seasons, to share with you the types of jobs that will need to be done and when.

Just follow all my lawn care schedule tips and you’ll have a lawn to enjoy for the entire year.

Early Spring

  1. Check what jobs you’ll need to do. Do your hedges need trimming and shaping? Do your trees need trimming? Do your lawn edges need straightening or repairing? Jobs like these most certainly need to be done, you just need to decide if you want to get someone in to do them for you, or do them yourself.
  2. Assess how the heavy winter rainfall has affected your lawn. Just have a quick look around all areas of grass to see if there are any puddles forming. These are often low spots in the lawn, so they’ll have to be filled in and levelled before the season starts and when you begin your lawn maintenance work. Also, you may need to aerate these areas or the entire lawn to help with the drainage issues.
  3. Check up on your lawn equipment. This could be your lawn mower, leaf blower, shovel, rake or pretty much anything else you can see yourself using throughout the year. You don’t want it to be the first day of mowing when you find out that your lawn mower’s blades are blunt and need to be replaced; certainly an inconvenience that you’ll want to avoid. You may need to pop down to the store for a couple of things, but this is well worth the hassle, and while you’re down there you could pick up some other things like grass seed, fertiliser, weed killer and plants.
  4. Clean up the lawn. This is a great time to remove all the leaves, twigs and other debris from your lawn, as this thick layer could smother the lawn if ignored. Clear lawn allows the sun and nutrients to reach the grass and clears the way for applying fertilisers and herbicides. This can simply be done using a garden broom (you will need lots of stamina and energy), but of course using a Cordless or Electric Leaf Blower and Vacuum will be much easier and efficient.

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  1. Collect lawn soil testing samples. You’re going to want to check the pH of your soil to see if it’s too acidic or too alkaline, grass grows best in soil with a neutral pH, so understanding where yours is will be highly beneficial. You can purchase inexpensive but extremely beneficial home pH lawn soil testing kits that provide instant results.
  2. Aeration. So that water, fertilisers, air and nutrients can reach the grass roots, you have to aerate your lawn. Aeration is a process of punching small holes into the lawn. It’s recommended that those with a lot of clay in their soil, or lawn showing any signs of compaction or issues with drainage, they need to aerate their lawn. Lawn aeration should be carried out on a day when the lawn isn’t soaked or too dry, to ensure the powered or manual tool can work properly. A wet lawn will just result in the holes sealing up once punched, dry lawns result in the holes cracking. This is the reason you need to ensure the soil is moist, regardless if you decide to use a garden fork, aerating shoes or powered machine for the job.
  3. Weed control. To prevent weeds appearing in your garden, like crabgrass, you’ll want to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your soil. Make sure you do this when the soil temperature is around 12° C or above for at least 72 hours. Pre-emergent weed killers prevent weed seeds from germinating, however weed killers kill already existing weeds. Adding these chemicals to your lawn can stress it, so make sure you apply the herbicide to each weed individually. This produces better results and is much better for your lawn.
  4. Fertilisers. As you should now know your soil pH, it’s time to add fertilisers. If your soil pH is too low then add lime and if your soil pH is too high add sulphur. It is up to you if you decide to use organic or synthetic fertilisers, however there are many advantages of using organic fertilisers (they stimulate micro-organisms, they are children and pet safe, they slowly release nutrients etc).

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Early Summer

  1. Change the mowing height. At this time of the year you’ll want to raise your mower’s cutting height above that of what it was at the beginning of the year. To keep the grass healthy set the mower to cut at around 4cm to 5cm, depending on the type of your grass. If your grass is in shady area, the setting should be set little higher. Many people make the mistake of cutting their grass too short, this promotes disease and bare patches. Remember to cut your grass more frequently (around once to twice per week during the growing season) and only cut 1/3 of the length of the grass.

Do It Yourself Lawn Care ScheduleSummer

  1. Watering. To prevent shallow root growth make sure you water deep and infrequently, instead of frequent sprinkles. In general your lawn needs about 2cm of water per week, but this may change due to the weather conditions. If it’s hot and dry, then you’ll want to go from about 5 or 6 days in-between watering to about 4 to 5 days.
    To check the sprinkler output, you can set out cans around your garden and measure how much has been collected throughout a week for example. To make this easier you’ll want to pick up a rain gauge, it is readily available and inexpensive. Also the best time to water the lawn is early in the morning anything between 6am and 10am.
  2. Change the mowing height again. Now you’ll want to increase the mowing height again. Tall grass has more plant tissue to hold water, produce chlorophyll and shade the ground below. This helps to keep it cool, reduces the root stress and water lost due to evaporation, so more is available for the grass.

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Early Autumn

Patching bare or thin spots. If you have a robotic or mulching lawn mower, you are very unlikely to encounter bare or thin patches within your lawn.

If they do appear, below is described the best way to correctly take care of these areas as the weather begins to cool.

  1. Remove all dead grass
  2. Break up the soil with a garden trowel
  3. Add around 1cm of compost to the spot and work it into the soil
  4. Add suitable matching grass seeds evenly across the bare patch, consider how much shade/sun exposure your lawn is getting before choosing which type of grass seed you should use
  5. Now with a hard-tooth rake work the seed into the soil at about 1cm deep
  6. To prevent the soil from dying out, sprinkle some grass clippings over the patch
  7. Make sure you keep this area moist, so lightly water it once a day until the seeds germinate and the new grass grows to about 2cm tall

Do It Yourself Lawn Care ScheduleAutumn

  1. Fertilising, again. If you want to fertilise your soil for the second time, then there isn’t a better time to do so than now. Your grass and plants will benefit from the extra nutrients which makes for better preparation for when they go dormant during the upcoming winter.
  2. Keep the lawn free of leaves and debris. It is a good idea to keep your lawn free from excessive piles of leaves and other debris, as if not removed they will smother the lawn causing damage to the grass. This can block air and sunlight and considering the grass needs to see as much light as possible during this time, for photosynthesis and root growth, it is super important that you carry it out properly. Please note that some leaves left on your lawn are fine as they will compost over time and act as nutrients that will feed your lawn (if you have a mulching mower that mulches the leaves it will speed up the process).
  3. Reassess the weeds. Even though the weeds may seem to be dying on top, they are actually focusing a lot of their energy on strengthening their roots, which of course will make it even harder to remove them next spring. That’s why it’s important to take care of them now. It is up to you if you decide to remove them manually or purchase a chemical or non-chemical weed killer. To learn more about looking after autumn lawn see my Autumn Lawn Care Advice. 

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Best Tools For the Job

Now you understand what needs to be done in terms of aerating, scarifying, fertilising, overseeding and generally ensuring that you have a healthy lawn. You are now going to need a suitable lawn mower that will support and reinforce all your efforts.

As we all know there are many different types and models of lawn mowers available and choosing the right one that suits your lawn can be challenging.

To help you out below I have included the best lawn mowers I have tested, all designed for different purposes and situations. To learn more about the different categories – electric, cordless, petrol and robotic click on the link below.

Best Lawn Mower Review Page

Thanks for reading and best of luck for the season.

4 thoughts on “Do It Yourself Lawn Care Schedule

  1. Oh my gosh! I have been caring for my lawn all wrong. Now I feel as though I haven’t been treating my lawn the way it should be treated. I’m definitely gonna bookmark your site so that I can always have access to this awesome resource. Thanks a lot for the helpful information. If you have time visit letsdoitmnual as well sometime!

    1. Brilliant I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the read! Just follow my tips and you’ll be well on your way to a great looking lawn.

      And I had a look at your site and I think it looks good, the layout is easy to navigate, you have loads of content and it’s clear people are actively using the forum you have installed. Nicely done man!

      Thanks for the comment and if you need anything then just ask :-)

  2. Hi Mark

    Phew, no wonder people hire gardeners! :D
    Having a good looking lawn takes some work and effort it seems.

    There is quite a bit to consider here and I learned a lot from reading this article like at what temperature crabgrass germinates.
    If we see any weed patches developing we just pull them out manually to avoid using sprays and such things, one should always consider what they spraying especially if they have small children and animals.

    Great info here, thanks again ;)


    1. Yeah of course Kamil, you really don’t know what’s in these synthetic fertilisers. Like you I would just manually pull my weeds out, it’s just much safer but you need to make sure you’re doing it properly so make sure you follow my tips on my Lawn Repair Advice post. This takes you through the entire process and explains how to do it correctly.

      Thanks for the comment and I hope this helps :-)

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