Safety Products

Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

Lawn Care Schedule

Lawn Care Schedule For Cool Season Grasses

Cool Season Lawn Care Calendar

By DoMyOwn staff
Overview

Maintenance Calendar For Cool Season Grasses

Maintenance is what keeps your lawn looking its best. Each step is designed to counterbalance unfavorable conditions and keep your lawn healthy and beautiful, and keeping to a lawn schedule makes it easy to keep on top of your lawn's needs.

States With Cool Season Grasses: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Common Cool Season Grass Types: Kentucky Bluegrass, Annual Ryegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue, Creeping Bentgrass, Blend

Cool Season Lawn Care Schedule

Cool Season Grasses Lawn Care Schedule

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall
Treatment Applications
Pre-Emergents (North)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pre-Emergents (South)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Post-Emergents
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fertilizers (Synthetic)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fertilizers (Organic)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insecticides
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Grub Prevention
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fungicides
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iron
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
pH - Lime/Sulfur
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lawn Maintenance
Soil Testing*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Watering
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mowing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dethatching
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aeration
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seeding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dec Jan Feb
Mar Apr May
Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov

† based on soil test results * once a year

Fertilization

(March-May and September-November) 2-4 times per year based on soil analysis
Fertilization is key to giving your lawn the proper nutrients it needs to thrive. Proper fertilization is a balance between relying on what your soil is giving your lawn and what you can add. Over-fertilization can cause spurts of random growth that will cause unsightly, uneven patches of grass. However, under-fertilization can cause the grass to have difficulty warding off invading weeds and disease. We recommend using a soil analysis test kit or taking a sample of your soil to your local cooperative extension so your soil can be analyzed to determine what nutrients your soil is lacking. The healthiest, hardiest lawns are fertilized 4 times per year, fall, summer, early spring and late spring.
Pro Tip

When fertilizing in the spring you can choose to use a "weed and feed." These products contain both a fertilizer and a pre-emergent herbicide.

Soil Testing

One time per year - Fall or Spring
Understanding which nutrients your soil is lacking or has an over abundance of will help you select the best fertilizer for your lawn. The best way to do this is by performing a soil test on a sample of your soil. Soil testing provides an analysis of soil nutrient levels including Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K), as well as many micronutrients and the pH level.

The best time to do a soil test is usually in the fall when conditions are relatively dry, but the spring is also a good time to do a soil test. By performing a test in the fall, you can have time to apply any soil amendments before spring green up.

Soil pH

Lime or Sulfur Applications: May - August
If your soil test results indicate that your soil's pH level is out of the optimal range, you may need to correct it by applying a soil amendment such lime or sulfur. Soil pH plays an important role in helping your soil uptake nutrients. If your soil's pH levels are not in range, any fertilizers or other nutrients you add are not used to their full advantage. Performing a soil test will usually also provide the pH level of soil and from there you can star the correction process to get your soil's pH level back to an optimal range.

Iron Applications

May - August
Iron is often applied to actively-growing lawns to help develop a rich, deep green coloring. It is a great nutrient to quicken spring green-up without promoting excessive growth. Often paired with micronutrient applications, lawn iron can help improve the overall health of your turf. It can also help cool season turfs recover from damage. Iron applications can be used on your cool season lawn anytime it is actively growing to help give it a boost in color or health.

Mowing

(March-November) Weekly to start, then every 2 weeks, then monthly at the end of the season
Proper mowing height and frequency plays a big role in your lawn's overall health. Mowing height can affect many aspects of your lawn. Cutting grass too close and short can increase your maintenance load (it will have to be cut more often to keep it healthy), and can make your grass susceptible to diseases. Increase mowing height during hot and dry weather. A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blades at a time. Most grass types are the most healthy when they are are between 2-3 inches in length.

Your lawn should be mowed consistently, but when applying fertilizers, pre-emergent herbicides, or insecticide applications to your lawn, read labels carefully since some have mowing restrictions before application, and some have mowing restrictions after application. During spring you may need to mow as often as once per week. During summer mowing is less frequent and usually once every 2 weeks is sufficient. Finally during fall as the temperatures start to drop you may need to mow once a month until the grass starts to go into a dormant stage and mowing will cease. This typically happens once temperatures start consistently reaching 50-55 F for about 1 week.

Watering

(June-September) Weekly when rain levels are below 1 inch
How often you water your lawn depends largely on where you live and your specific grass type. The main reason to water grass in summer is to maintain color. Proper watering is important, but will not fix all your lawn's issues.

Deep, infrequent waterings help to encourage deep root growth. Shallow, frequent waterings lead to shallow root growth and weak roots.

Water in the early morning to avoid scorching and to make sure the blades are dry before the humidity sets to prevent lawn diseases. If you get less than 1" of precipitation in a week it is time to consider watering your lawn. It is not recommended that you water more than 1" of water per watering.

Aeration

(March-April and September-November) 1-2 times per year
Compacted soils, due to silt or clay soils or heavy foot traffic, can inhibit growth since air, water, and nutrients are unable to reach the roots. When left unchecked, compacted soils can lead to pest and maintenance problems, including making it harder for grass to fight off weeds and recover from damage.

Core aeration is the best way to go here, and you can rent an aeration machine for larger lawns and a hand corer for smaller areas. Cores of earth are removed (and left on your lawn for extra nutrients) and holes left in your lawn, which will eventually be filled in with new grass.

If you do plan to schedule an aeration for your lawn it is important that any pre-emergent herbicide be applied after the aeration is completed.

Dethatching

(March-April) 1 time per year
Thatch is an excessive growth of grass that builds up before existing plant matter can decompose. Heavy thatch creates a barrier to air, water, and nutrients to the soil. This can cause shallow root development, prevent pesticide or fertilizer penetration, and can harbor disease causing bacteria, fungus, and insects.

Dethatching generally includes power raking or using a vericutting machine to remove the excess thatch. Aeration can also accomplish a similar result.

If you do plan to schedule a dethatching for your lawn it is important that any pre-emergent herbicide be applied after the dethatching is completed.

Weed Control

Weeds distract from the color and texture of your lawn, and compete with your grass for nutrients and water, which can result in a thinned out lawn. Weeds are usually broken up into two categories- grassy (which includes crabgrass) and broadleaf (like dandelions and clover).

You can control almost all turf weeds with either pre-emergent or post-emergent weed control products.

Pre-Emergents

(March-May) 2 times per year
Pre-emergent products kill weeds before they are able to grow above the soil. It is important to apply pre-emergents just before the soil reaches 55+ degrees, just before the seeds begin to germinate in the soil.

Timing is very important! Please be sure sure to refer to the product label for mowing restrictions prior to and after herbicide applications as mowing can negatively impact the efficacy of the herbicide.

Post-Emergents

(June-November) 1-2 times per growing season, or as needed (with non-selective herbicides)
Post-emergent products kill already-growing weeds, and you can choose many different types of these products. Note that some will not harm foliage other than the target weed (called selective) while non-selective will kill any plant it comes in contact with, including your grass.

Please be sure sure to refer to the product label for mowing restrictions prior to and after herbicide applications as mowing can negatively impact the efficacy of the herbicide.

Fungicides

(May-August) Every 14-28 days as preventative applications; as needed for curative applications
Lawn diseases can quickly damage your pristine turf. Once a fungus has taken hold in your lawn, getting rid of the disease and the damage it causes can be a time consuming and difficult process. The best solution is to stop the disease before it starts.

While different lawn diseases develop under different conditions, some of the most common lawn diseases, including Brown Patch, Dollar Spot, and Anthracnose, often occur in late spring, throughout the summer, and into fall. By applying preventative fungicide treatments to your lawn every 14 to 28 days starting in the late spring and continuing to the end of summer. It is important to rotate fungicides to help prevent disease resistance. Once a lawn disease has taken hold in your turf, a curative fungicide treatment can help stop the disease progression.

Pro Tip

The DoMyOwn Turf Box can help take the guesswork out of selecting preventative fungicides for your lawn. Sign up today to help keep your lawn disease-free.

Insecticides

March - September
Keeping a healthy lawn means controlling pests that can damage it. While different pests can live in cool season lawns, preventative lawn insecticide treatments can help deter many insects. If you have had issues with a specific lawn pest in the past, a dedicated preventative treatment may be in order. Check out our lawn pest guides to learn more about these pests and how to prevent them from damaging your lawn.

Grub Prevention

April - May
Lawn grubs can cause extensive damage to your turf as they feed on the roots of the grass. While the damage goes beyond turning your grass thin, yellow, or brown, it is possible to prevent white grubs from causing damage to your turf. Preventative grub treatments can be applied to kill larvae in early stages before grubs are able to cause damage. Our grub treatment guide can help you learn how to prevent lawn grubs or how to get rid of grubs in your lawn.

Seeding

August - October
Image of person spreading treatment in the yard
Overseeding a cool season lawn can help fill in bare patches and make thin turf thicker. Cool season grasses germinate and grow in the cool weather of fall. This makes the fall the best time to overseed a cool season lawn. With soil still warm from the summer, cool evening temperatures, and mild daytime temperatures, cool season grass seed can quickly germinate and establish before the first frost. While timing may vary by region, make sure to give the grass seed time to establish before the winter and first frost.

Cool Season Lawn Care Schedule Infographic

(Click to View Full Graphic)

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