Your lawn care calendar for 2018. Free month by month guide to lawn care jobs to help you get the most from your garden.

Lawn care calendar:  jobs for January

Get the year off to a good start by servicing your lawnmower. Unless we’re treated to some very mild weather, you won’t need your mower for a few weeks so take the opportunity to make sure it’s in tip top condition. Number 1 priority is to clean and sharpen those blades.

lawn mower servicing
Servicing your lawnmower is a productive way to while away the hours in winter time. Don’t forget the sharpen the blades!

Staying on the subject of maintenance – your lawn edging tools would probably benefit from a little bit of TLC too.  Sharpening the blades and oiling any joints will make them much easier to use.

If, like me, you’re not mechanically minded, most garden machinery dealers have experts on hand to service your mower for you.

Now is the time any lawn repairs for early spring.  If you need help with aerating or scarifying, talk to your lawn care professional and get booked in before the rush.

In mild weather, there’s no reason why you can’t do a bit of hollow-tine aeration in January. It will certainly help with drainage. Use your judgement though – some jobs are best left until the soil warms up a little.

Keep toys and debris off the lawn as much as possible and definitely don’t walk on it if it’s white with frost.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for February

As the weather warms up its time to get ready to make any repairs. Provided the ground isn’t frozen, it’s OK to lay new turf in February. You can also order supplies such as spring/summer lawn feed and grass seed.

Towards the end of the month, you may be able to give your lawn a light trim with the lawnmower. Don’t go too mad at this stage.

You could trim and shape the edges too. You’d be amazed at the difference it makes to the whole garden.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for March

Mowing starts in earnest this month.  Growth will begin to speed up so apply a spring/summer feed early in the month to make sure the plants have enough nutrients to support them. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions and make a note on the calendar of when the next feed is due.

lawn moss removal
It is possible to scarify your lawn using a sprint-tine rake. However it’s much more gentle on the lawn and your body if you use a machine like this one.

This is a good time to treat moss in your lawn.  Even the smallest amount of moss will spread if conditions are right so scarify to remove plants and then use a moss treatment to deal with spores. Your lawn might look a bit battered for a couple of weeks after scarification but come summer you will definitely reap the benefits.

How to scarify your lawn

There is still a chance of frost at this time of year, so keep those mower blades high and just tickle the top of the lawn every 7-10 days.  Nipping off the tips of the grass blades will encourage thicker more luxuriant growth.

Treat weeds as soon as you see them. Hopefully you’ll be able to spot-treat them, that way you can minimise chemical usage.  If your lawn is very weedy, call in the experts. They have access to treatments that are more effective and less damaging to the environment than some of the things you find on the garden centre shelves.

 

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for April

You will most likely be needing to mow at least once a week. Keep those mower blades sharp and don’t remove more than 1/3 of the growth at a time.

lawn care feeing
Using a proper fertiliser spreader ensures you don’t get stripes and bare patches due to uneven fertiliser application

If you’ve not yet applied a spring/summer feed, do it now.  Ditto for weed treatments if you need them.

Late spring temperatures are ideal for overseeding any thin or bare patches.

 

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for May

Gradually reduce the height of your mowing blades. For a utility lawn, aim for a height of about 2.5cm

By now, the plants will have taken up most of the the feed you applied in March. Check the manufacturers’ recommendations and reapply if necessary.

Keep an eye out for weeds and treat with a selective herbicide if necessary.  Personally, I’m not a fan of chemicals and prefer to dig out any offenders – but sometimes that’s just not practical.

Don’t forget to trim the edges of your lawn on a regularly.

 

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for June

Hopefully you’ll be getting plenty of usage from your lawn.  Remember to keep moving furniture, toys, rugs etc around so that they don’t damage the grass.

Keep on with the mowing and remember to do it little and often. Letting the grass grow long and then scalping it is a recipe for disease and disaster.

If your lawn is due a feed, try to apply fertiliser just before rain. It’s important that the granules are watered in otherwise they will scorch the grass.  No rain? Unroll your hosepipe and just dampen the lawn enough to dissolve the fertiliser particles.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for July

Dry soil and lack of rainfall might mean that your lawn starts to lose its colour. For an established lawn that’s OK. Don’t worry about it, nature knows how to manage these things. For a young lawn though, especially a newly turfed one, drought is bad.  Use your common sense and water it sensibly.  You’ll find some excellent advice in this article

Waterwise lawn care for summer

A midsummer sharpen for your lawnmower blades is an excellent idea.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for August

camping on the lawn
The summer school holidays mean extra wear and tear on your lawn. Keep moving toys, tents and furniture so that they don’t leave weak or discoloured patches on the lawn.

High summer and growth will most likely slow down for a while.  Lift the mower blades a little if you can. Longer grass copes better with drought and with all the wear and tear from parties and barbecues.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for September

Weather permitting your grass will start to green up a little.  This is a good time to scarify especially if there is moss present.  Scarification clears dead grass and debris from the base of the plants and allows water to filter through the sward into the soil. It stimulates the grass plants to tiller. Tillering is the production of new shoots from the base of the plant.

hollow tine aerating a lawn
Hollow tine aeration helps get oxygen to the roots and aids drainage

Hollow tine aeration will also help with winter drainage. Keep an eye on the weather forecast though. Newly aerated lawns are prone to drying out so if there’s talk of an indian summer, delay aeration for a while.

Switch to your winter feeding regime.  That means changing the formulation of the feed to one with very little nitrogen and lots of phosphorus and potassium. In autumn and winter you need to support root growth and discourage leaf growth.

 

How to aerate your lawn

Be vigilant in looking for signs of disease.

Treat any weeds you spot – as autumn draws on chemical treatments will work slower so best to tackle things now if you can.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for October

Time to bring that springtime rake out of the shed and get some exercise. Fallen leaves must never be left on the lawn for more than a couple of days. They block the light and damage the grass.

Raking leaves burns around 120-150 calories for half an hour. So it’s well worth the effort.

Expect to mow a couple of times in October.  I must confess that I cheat a bit and use my lawnmower with the grass box on it to pick up autumn leaves. I use my dodgy shoulder as an excuse.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for November

All is quiet on the lawncare front.  It’s not too late for aerating and it’s certainly not too late to apply winter feed if you haven’t done it yet.

Keep off the lawn when the grass is frozen. Remember to take all the summer toys, furniture and paraphernalia off the lawn.

You may or may not need to mow. Use your judgement. If you do mow, the blades must be really sharp. This is not the time of year to risk tearing at the leaves, if you can’t offer a clean cut, don’t do it at all.

Lawn care calendar: Jobs for December

Where are your priorities going to lie this month? Good lawncare that will last til next spring or Christmassy ornaments?

Why not compromise and decorate the edges of the lawn rather than standing ornaments on the grass where they can damage the plants?

This is the time of year to reflect and plan.  What worked well this year? What did you not manage to do? Next year, do you need to employ the services of one of the many lawncare professionals who can scarify, aerate, feed, weed and trim while you get on with the things you enjoy?

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