Best Year-Round Lawn Care Schedule

One of the biggest mistakes most homeowners make in their lawn care protocol is assuming that the spring and summer — when they use their yards most often — are the only times treatments are helpful. In reality, those lawns you envy when you walk your neighborhood are probably treated and maintained year-round. When you care for your lawn year-round, you won’t have as much spring work, and your property will look exponentially healthier. Lawn services that schedule throughout the year are your best bet for maximizing your yard’s beauty.

The top lawn care companies offer annual servicing programs that handle all of your lawn needs throughout the year exactly when you need them. If you’re looking for professional, year-round lawn care from the best lawn care services, TruGreen is probably your best option. This company includes season-specific fertilization, soil testing, and other services in each season to give your lawn everything it needs to thrive.

Spring Lawn Care

Months: March, April, May

Spring is when most homeowners start to treat their lawns, and it is one of the most crucial times to get things right. Below is a list of all of the services you should consider in early spring.

Do Some Spring Cleaning

The winter likely leaves your lawn covered with sticks, leaves, dead grass, and other unsightly debris and can get in the way of proper lawn treatments. Take your time to do a spring cleanup in early spring to set yourself up for success for the rest of the season. Many homeowners opt to take a day to complete a DIY cleanup. Some people prefer to save time and effort and leave this step to professionals, like TruGreen.

Test Your Soil pH

A soil test is one of the things most homeowners miss when doing their lawn services. Soil gradually becomes depleted of nutrients, which welcomes in weeds and crabgrass, and puts strain on your grass. Completing a soil test in early spring will leave you with all the information you need to get your lawn on the right track. It will inform your decisions regarding fertilizers, soil amendments, and more.

Get Your Mower Ready

Springtime means your lawn will soon require weekly mowing. It’s best to prepare your lawnmower early to ensure it functions properly and doesn’t need servicing. You can also set your mower blades to an appropriate height. Lower heights mean less frequent mowing, but short grass also welcomes weeds.

Aerate the Soil

Compacted soil is another common problem limiting grass growth and allowing weeds to thrive. Soil naturally gets compacted with lawn use and naturally over time, so aeration might be necessary to loosen things up. Soil aeration can be done as a DIY job if you rent the proper equipment. However, most homeowners leave this step to professional lawn maintenance services.

Dethatch (If Necessary)

Thatch is the natural material — grass clippings, tree debris, and other organic matter — that accumulates between your soil and your grass. Thatch reduces the grass roots’ access to nutrients and water and can cause stunted growth or leave room for weeds to take root. You can check for thatch by digging into the lawn and looking at the cross-section. Dethatching is necessary if the thatch layer is over ½” thick, and it can be done as a DIY job or by a professional.

Fertilize

Fertilization is crucial for proper grass growth, providing your lawn with the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium needed to thrive. Since weeds thrive in nutrient-depleted soil, fertilization also helps limit weed growth. Your soil test or lawn care professional should inform you which fertilizer you use. You can choose natural or organic fertilizers if your yard is frequented by children or pets or slow-release options for longer-lasting growth. You can also hire a professional fertilizer service to do this for you.

Apply Pre-emergent Herbicide

Finally, you’ll want to consider weed control. Pre-emergent herbicides are best in early spring because they prevent weed growth rather than kill existing weeds. You can put down a liquid weed preventer with a garden sprayer — just be sure to read dilution instructions — and granular weed killers with a garden spreader. Be sure to time the application with the weather, as rain can wash away the active ingredients soon after you put it down.

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Summer Lawn Care

Months: June, July, August

Lawn care should continue through the late spring and into the summer for the best results. You’ll have to adjust some applications and products based on ongoing lawn health and the weather.

Mow Your Grass High

One of the easiest ways to prevent early summer weed growth is to start mowing your grass high. Grass that is three inches tall will keep weeds at bay. It will also help boost moisture retention, which is crucial in the summer heat. Weekly mowing at this height will also reduce stress on your grass, which is great for maintaining its health in the intense sunlight.

Prevent and Control Lawn Grubs

Lawn grubs are common pests that eat your lawn’s root system and cause poor conditions for a healthy green yard. While some are beneficial, they can kill entire patches of your yard if you have too many. To check the population, dig up one square foot of grass. If you find more than ten grubs, apply a natural pesticide to your lawn, like milky spore.

Control Weeds

Even with spring weed treatment, you’ll want to use a post-emergent weed killer for any broadleaf weeds or other species that pop up. You can opt for a selective weed killer if the weeds are located on your lawn or in your garden beds. Non-selective weed killers are typically cheaper and sufficient for weeds on patios, walkways, and driveways. A professional lawn care company can help you decide which product is best.

Fall Lawn Care

Months: September, October, November

Late summer is when many homeowners cease lawn care services. Unfortunately, lawn maintenance is crucial to keep up your grass and soil health through late fall.

Fertilize the Soil

Post-summer fertilization might be required if your grass used up the previously applied nutrients or if you have cool-season grass. Fertilizer will also keep fall weeds from growing on your lawn. When exactly you should fertilize is based on your climate and grass type.

Mow on a Short Setting

Fall is the time to mow your lawn shorter since the sun is less intense, and your grass can recover more quickly. This will help prevent leaves and other debris from getting trapped in your grass, making spring cleanup easier.

Patch & Seed Necessary Areas

If your lawn has patchy brown spots, you might need to add grass seed to bare spots in early fall to encourage new growth. Overseeding with a cool-season grass type — like bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescues — is best. These species will thrive in the autumn weather and appear thick and healthy in the spring. Use a sprinkler to keep the soil damp but not soggy while the grass grows.

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Winter Lawn Care

Months: December, January, February

Winter isn’t the best time for fertilizer or amendments. However, there are some things you can do to promote a healthy lawn come springtime.

Limit Foot Traffic

As mentioned above, foot traffic can compact soil, leading to unhealthy grass and weed growth. Limiting foot traffic when the grass is weakest will also prevent lawn damage.

Carefully Melt Ice

Melting ice sheets on your lawn can help limit the risk of lawn damage. However, make sure you use proper techniques and never use rock salt or other salting methods, as these kill your grass.

Prep for Spring Lawn Care

Finally, prepare yourself for spring by starting cleanup early and getting lawn care tools ready for action.

Best Professional Lawn Care: TruGreen

Some homeowners like the work involved in DIY lawn care. House Method recommends Sunday Lawn Care as the best DIY lawn care service. Sunday sends customized lawn care boxes to your doorstep at the perfect time for application. Learn more with our Sunday Review.

TruGreen is one of the best lawn care companies you can choose. TruGreen’s technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable, and they use science and soil tests to optimize your lawn care program. The company has several year-round lawn care plans to choose from so that you can get only the services you need for the best price possible.

To learn more about TruGreen, read our TruGreen Review.

Best Overall

  • Large variety of plan options tailored to homeowners wants and needs
  • All services are backed and performed by TruExpert℠ Certified Specialists
  • Services provided in 49 states

Final Thoughts

Lawn care is usually an obvious necessity in the spring and summer, but the homeowners with the healthiest lawns provide care all year. A solid four-season lawn care approach will yield the best results and leave you with a yard that your neighbors envy.

If you’re looking to save time or get the best results possible, TruGreen is likely the best option for a professional lawn company. TruGreen brings local knowledge and experience to all 48 contiguous states, and it guarantees your satisfaction.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I take care of my lawn all year?

Spring maintenance should include a cleanup, soil test, fertilization, thatching, and other treatments depending on your lawn’s health. Summer means mowing grass high, limiting remedies, and completing spot weed applications. Fall should prompt additional fertilization and property cleanup, and winter is the time to prep for spring and limit lawn damage.

What is the best lawn care company?

TruGreen is widely considered the best lawn care company. It provides professional and trustworthy service, an excellent selection of lawn care plans for customization, and guarantees results.

How often should I fertilize my lawn?

Fertilization should always be informed by soil testing. Generally speaking, though, application during the spring and fall is best.

When should I test my soil?

A soil test in early spring will inform fertilization schedules and products, as well as soil amendments and any other pre-summer preparation.

Is summer too late to start caring for my lawn?

In most cases, yes. Most lawns need fertilization, dethatching, pest treatment, and other maintenance starting at an earlier time of year. However, lawn care should continue through the summer and into the fall.

House Method Rating & Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each lawn company/service according to our methodology.

Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each lawn care service’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the lawn care companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

We developed a formula to objectively determine the best lawn care companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

  • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at the number of lawn care coverages, including weed control, seeding, irrigation, aeration, dethatching, and more.
  • Trust (10): What do customers say after their lawn has been serviced? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
  • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same lawn services.
  • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as organic treatments, pest control, or a mobile app? We looked for perks each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
  • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
  • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability. 

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