Lawn Care

Lawn Care Basics

Lawn care is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy garden and property. Proper watering promotes deep root growth that makes lawns more drought resistant. A regular fertilization schedule keeps grass healthy throughout the year.

Lawn Care

Aerated soil is healthier, allowing air, nutrients and water to circulate more easily. Adding clover to your lawn helps with aeration, and it fixes nitrogen in the soil — important for healthy plants. Visit to learn more.

Mowing is one of the most basic lawn care services. Lawn service professionals use mowers that are specifically designed for different types of grass and know how to set them up to cut the grass at the optimal height for healthy growth. They also have experience in mowing patterns that create pleasing, sculpted lawns.

Raking leaves is another standard part of lawn care. Leaves piled up on the lawn can create a mat that blocks sunlight and makes it hard for grass to photosynthesize. This can invite diseases and pests, so raking leaves regularly is important. The lawn service professional may also blow the leaves away and mulch them into flower beds, which improves the appearance of the yard and moderates soil temperature.

Watering the lawn is a key element of lawn care. The service should be able to advise you about the best amount of watering, how often, and when (early morning is best). Too much water can cool and slow seed germination or wash it away, while too little can cause the grass to die.

As grass grows, it uses up the nutrients in the soil. To replenish these, the lawn should be fed with fertilizer. The lawn service should be able to recommend the right type of fertilizer for your lawn based on a soil test. A good lawn service will use a spreader to evenly apply the fertilizer across the entire yard.

Many local lawn service companies also provide pest control. They use preventative fungicides and insecticides to keep harmful insects from damaging the grass and plants. Some services will spray for weeds, too. Other services are more complex, transforming outdoor spaces through landscape construction and planting. This may include privacy hedges, retaining walls, fire pits, patios, water features, flower gardens and trees and shrubs.


Lawn care can feel like a hassle, but the time spent with a hose in hand can actually be quite meditative. It is also a great way to relieve stress and get some much-needed Vitamin D, especially in the summer. The more you learn about lawn care, the less you’ll need to rely on chemicals. Even if you choose to use fertilizer and pesticides, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not apply them more than needed. This will protect your turf and prevent chemical runoff that can pollute local waterways.

The best time to water your lawn is early morning, before the sun starts to heat things up. This allows the soil to absorb the water rather than letting it evaporate, and reduces fungal disease. Some people water a lot, but this can lead to shallow roots and leaves the lawn vulnerable to fungus and other diseases. Instead, aim for a deep watering once a week.

It’s also important to know how much sun your lawn gets so you can water it based on its needs. Shaded lawns need less frequent, deeper waterings. Sunny lawns, on the other hand, need more frequent, shallower waterings.

The amount of nutrients in your soil also has an impact on how often you need to water. If you take a soil sample and perform a test (many home and garden centers offer this for free), then you’ll know what your soil needs are and can decide what kind of fertilizer to use. Over time, mowing and bagging up clippings can deplete the available soil nutrients, so it’s a good idea to do a test each year.


Lawns require several different nutrients to grow healthy. Fertilizers supply these nutrients to the soil, which then feeds the grass. In addition to providing a beautiful green color, healthy lawns are more resistant to drought, weeds and other problems. There are many types of fertilizers, including granular, liquid and slow-release, but it is important to choose the right type for your lawn. It is also helpful to apply the right amount at the proper time of year.

Grass needs three primary nutrients to thrive: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen is used for almost all plant growth, but it is depleted from the soil over time. Adding nitrogen to the lawn through fertilizer prevents this depletion.

The best time to fertilize a lawn is in the spring, just after the ground thaws and before the heat of summer begins. This will help the grass get off to a good start and build up its carbohydrate reserves for the upcoming summer. Fertilizers can be spread manually with a rotary or drop-type spreader, or they can be applied using a water-soluble spray from a garden hose. If using a soluble spray, the application should be done just before a rain shower to avoid runoff.

It is also a good idea to leave grass clippings on the lawn as they return some of the nutrients back into the soil. However, this isn’t always possible with urban or suburban lawns. In these situations, it’s a good idea to use pre-emergent or post-emergent weed killers to kill existing weeds and prevent new ones from sprouting. It is also a good idea to use an organic compost or manure to help improve the quality of the soil, which will in turn make the turf healthier and more resilient.


Lawn aeration is the mechanical process of poking holes into the soil to help relieve soil compaction. The hole making technique is also referred to as core aeration, coring or aerifying. You can aerate your lawn yourself or hire a professional. Aeration is often done before lawn fertilizing or seeding because it gives the granules and seeds a chance to penetrate the ground. Aerating is usually done in the fall or spring. It is best not to aerate in the summer because it can cause the grass to dry out too quickly, leaving it vulnerable to disease.

The main reason to aerate is to eliminate thatch and to loosen the soil, allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the root zone. Excess thatch, heavy organic debris or buried debris like tree roots and branches starve the grass of the essential elements needed for healthy growth.

Aerating also improves air circulation in the soil, allowing stale carbon dioxide to escape and fresh oxygen to enter, thus decreasing disease susceptibility and improving the grass’s ability to consume water and nutrients. It also decreases erosion by allowing rainwater to percolate into the ground rather than rushing into local waterways, potentially contaminating them with polluted runoff.

Aerating is a necessary part of lawn care. It is recommended to aerate the lawn every couple of years to eliminate thatch and to loosen the dirt, allowing air, water and nutrients to get into the root zone of the grass. Also, aerating the lawn helps to keep the soil more moist, so it doesn’t clump up and become too hard to cut. This is especially important if your lawn has shaded areas where the grass isn’t getting as much sunlight and nutrients.


Lawns are often fertilized and treated with herbicide to keep them healthy, green, and weed-free. But a weed-free lawn requires constant care. You have to mow, rake, harrow, dethatch, aerate, reseed, and water your grass. And you need to know what weeds are and how to eliminate them without damaging your lawn.

Weeds are plants that compete with grass for water, nutrients and sunlight. They can take over a lawn if left unchecked. Weeds often produce flowers that attract pollinators and can add beauty to a yard. Many of these so-called weeds are actually useful plants in the garden and can be grown with a lawn if you do it right.

When it comes to weed control, the best strategy is prevention. Weeds thrive in compacted soil, so aerating your lawn improves drainage and loosens the soil to prevent them from taking root. You can do this yourself with a rented aerator or hire a professional to do it for you.

Regularly removing weeds by hand is also important. Pulling weeds when they first appear is easier and less labor intensive than trying to get rid of them once they’ve established. Regular weed removal is especially important for fast-spreading species like creeping woodsorrel, nutsedge, and dallisgrass. You can also use a weeder to remove large patches of these fast-growing species.

Fertilizing is important for lawns, but you have to apply it at the right time of year, and follow the product directions closely. The optimum times to fertilize vary from one region to the next. You can find out what your lawn needs by doing a soil test.