While your cool season lawn may be asleep under a layer of snow, it’s not too early to start thinking about lawn care. Each month, including December through January, provides many opportunities to do something related to lawn care.
A Quick Review of Growing Grass in the Transition Zone
Before getting to the month-by-month calendar, you need to know some necessary lawn care information about the climate you live in and the type of grass growing on your property.
If you live in the northern part of the U.S. or in Canada, you’ll be planting cool season grasses that do well in cold temperatures.
Conversely, if you live in the transition zone, your winter temperatures are too cold to grow warm-season grasses and too hot in the summer to grow cool season grasses.
For example, if you live in North Georgia, which is part of the transition zone, you can grow fescue in the shade and Zoysia or Bermuda grass in full sun. It depends on how hot and humid your area gets during the summer.
Conversely, homeowners in the Baltimore region of Maryland, use all cool season grasses in their yards even though Maryland is in the transition zone. So, your transition region may be cold enough for your lawn to handle cool season lawn grass throughout your property.
Your Cool Season Grass Lawn Care Calendar
Cool season grasses include Kentucky blue, fine and tall fescues as well as perennial ryegrass. Cool season gets its name because these grasses grow best in colder temperatures, from 60°F to 75°F.
January – Happy New Year! Your lawn is dormant under all of the snow. But you can think spring when you clean your lawn care equipment including sharpening your mower’s blades, changing its filter, and wiping it down.
Remind your family and friends not to park their cars on your lawn. If you have a large lot, the temptation to drive snowmobiles or ATVs in your yard may be strong.
Resist the temptation! Foot traffic, including snowmobiles, cars, and ATVs, will pull up your lawn grass and compact the soil.
February – If the northern part of the U.S. has a mild winter, you may find yourself starting to do some spring yard clean up. If that’s the case, then wait until all snow melts and the soil has time to dry out.
Then, take soil samples to test. Your local extension service will test your soil, or you can get a DIY kit at your local garden center or big box store. You don’t need to test your soil every year—unless it’s in a problem area.
March – Spring is in the air as North America wakes up from its winter slumber. Your grass will start to thicken up soon—as well as those pesky grassy weeds. It’s time to put down pre-emergent weed control to stop weeds from germinating.
One word of caution, though. Don’t put down pre-emergent weed control if you’re planting lawn grass. The pre-emergent will stop yard grass from germinating too.
March is also the perfect time to add lime and other soil amendments to your property. Your soil test results will guide you on how much soil amendment as well as the type of amendment to add to your soil.
March is a great time to clean up pinecones, sticks, and leaves that dropped over winter. And it’s a good time to rake your lawn so the soil can dry out and you avoid any snow mold. Brinly’s lawn sweeper makes this job go a lot faster.
Finally, if you had voles (field mice) and other critters tunneling through your lawn over the winter, use your Brinly lawn roller to even out the ground.
April – Happy National Lawn Care Month – Celebrate by firing up your mower. For your first few cuts, keep your mower blade lower than usual to remove the rest of the yard debris and help with seed germination.
Put your grass clippings in your garden or throw them away. You don’t want to leave them in your yard in case there are any fungal diseases.
Once nighttime temperatures stay above 55°F for five days or more, it’s time to put down pre-emergent weed control. However, if you’re planting grass seed this month, you don’t want to put down any pre-emergent because it’ll stop yard grass from germinating as well.
Get your Brinly spreader out again to plant grass seed and cover it with mulch or top dressing. Make sure you seed any bare patches or catch up on seeding that you didn’t do in the fall.
May – Move your mower blades up to only remove 2” to 3” off the top. You can now leave the clippings on your lawn to give it a boost of natural nitrogen.
Broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, plantains and chickweed, need post-emergent spraying. You only need to spot treat them and try to get them in the early stages of growth.
It’s also time to start fertilizing. Your Brinly spreaders can help you with that task. You can use quick release or slow release fertilizer. Follow the package’s directions.
Quick-release gives a shot of nutrition right away and slow-release fertilizer takes some time to get the nutrition to the grass. If you want a quick green up, you want quick-release fertilizer. Conversely, slow release fertilizer will continue to give food for up to six weeks.
Some experts say you can use both a fast release and slow release fertilizers at the same time. Ask your local extension if you should mix the two types of fertilizer together for your lawn.
Use Brinly’s lawn sprayer to help you apply liquid weed control, pest control, and fertilizer.
June – It’s time to turn on your in-ground sprinkler system if you have one. Set your moisture and weather sensors as well as the times when your irrigation system is supposed to start and stop.
If you don’t have an in-ground lawn sprinkler, use an above ground sprinkler or soaker hoses that you can find at your local garden center or big box retailer.
Raise your mower height to only take off enough to leave your grass standing between 1” to 2”. You want your grass to stand a little taller to shade the soil and to crowd out any weeds germinating in your yard.
July – Happy National Irrigation Month. You’ll need to water your lawn consistently in July as you did in June. It’s time to put down grub control since these critters are close to the soil line, and they’re hungry.
Your lawn isn’t growing as fast as it was in the spring. It’s time only to take the top third off your lawn grass. Also, keep watering it unless your municipality has water restrictions.
If your cool season lawn turns brown, don’t worry. It’s only dormant. As soon as it rains and the temperature cools down, your lawn will green up again.
Remember: Your lawn only needs 1” to 2” of water per week. Buy a rain gauge to measure how much water your yard is getting. If it rains, take the rainfall total and subtract it from 1” to 2” of water and then supplement the remainder.
Also, give your lawn a good soaking. Spraying water with your garden hose won’t give your yard grass the deep moisture it needs. You can invest in soaker hoses or above ground sprinklers to give your lawn a good soak.
Finally, if you have a lot of acreage, set out empty tuna cans at different points of your lawn to see if your sprinkler system is putting enough water in these particular zones.
For example, turfgrass on slopes will dry out faster, so make sure that part of your property gets the right amount of water.
Conversely, you can cut back the water amount you use for lawn grass that’s in the shade. Moisture doesn’t evaporate as quickly in the shade as it does in full sun.
August – Again, if you’re in the dog days of summer, let your lawn grass go dormant. Try to avoid a lot of foot traffic since it’ll compact the soil and damage the grass.
If you didn’t get your soil tested in the spring, now is an excellent time to get it checked. In early fall, you want to add soil amendments before winter sets in.
It’s time to aerate your lawn grass and overseed it. Summer is winding down. The cooler nights, warm soil and regular rainfall help grass seed germinate faster. Keep your newly seeded lawn evenly moist.
Remember, a half-inch of thatch isn’t bad. You need to remove thatch that’s thicker than a half an inch so that your yard grass can breathe and receive water.
September – Continue to dethatch, core aerate and reseed your lawn in September if you didn’t get it done in August. Give your lawn a final dose of fertilizer no later than six weeks before the first frost.
Keep your newly seeded lawn watered well so its roots can store moisture deep underground. You don’t want the soil to be soaking wet, though.
October – Keep on mowing. If you didn’t get a soil test in the spring, now’s a good time to get one. Add lime and other soil amendments based on your test results.
If leaves have fallen on your yard, it’s time to rake them up, or better yet, use Brinly’s lawn sweeper to collect them along with sticks and other yard debris.
Your lawn now only needs an inch a water every 10 to 14 days.
If you’re well read in lawn care, you may want to add winter fertilizer to your lawn grass to help the roots collect moisture and nutrition over the winter.
November – Again, keep mowing until the grass stops growing. Continue to use your Brinly lawn sweeper to collect leaves, sticks, and other yard debris. If you didn’t add any winterizer to your turf in October, get it on your yard by the beginning or middle of November.
Keep mowing your lawn until it stops growing—usually by mid-November. For your last mow of the season, lower your blades to give it a good cut. You don’t want to scalp your turf, but you want it low enough so that voles and rabbits don’t have a hiding spot.
Plus, shorter grass makes it more resistant to snow mold. Winter’s snow and ice won’t bend over the grass blade trapping in moisture that leads to snow molds.
If you have an in-ground lawn sprinkler, blow it out and turn it off for the winter.
December – Your lawn care duties are done for the year. You only need to clean out your Brinly lawn care attachments and put them away.
It’s also time to take out the oil and gas from your mower. You can sharpen mower blades and other lawn equipment now if you don’t want to do it in January.
Why Brinly Attachments are Essential for Healthy Cool Season Grass
It takes a lot of work and care to keep your lawn looking thick, green, and healthy throughout the months. As you can see, your lawn will keep you busy throughout the year.
Make your job easier and more efficient with Brinly’s Lawn Care and Garden Attachments. You can find your Brinly Lawn Care Attachments at these online retailers. If you can’t find any Brinly Lawn Care and Garden Attachments, call our customer service at 877-728-8224 or fill out our contact form.