Seasonal Lawn Care Guide for Cool Season Grasses

Mowing lawns during cold season should take place at least twice a week depending on the growth between mowing periods. Lawn maintenance is what defines how your surrounding looks like. The idea behind a lawn care guide is to get rid of unfavorable conditions and to keep your lawn in an ever healthy and beautiful state.
Cool season grasses usually grow in spring and fall. However, some of these species go through winter, in a dormant state. This latent growth also depends on your location and severity of the weather.
The following guide will give you a better understanding of how to maintain the cool season grasses. We have already mentioned that these grasses grow well in the spring and fall seasons. Therefore, in summer and winter, we will highlight some of the few maintenance activities that need to take place.

1. What Happens in Spring?

• Fertilization
The winter period is over, and the lawn is greenish yellow – a sign that the plants have not yet lost all their energy. At this time of the year, you need to think about spring fertilization. If you have an existing lawn, use nitrogen-based fertilizer and leave complete fertilization to a new yard.
The recommended fertilizer, in this case, is one that takes time to be released into the soil because of environmental concerns. Cool season grasses at this stage need fertilizers that last longer than the usual fertilizer.
At all times when spreading fertilizers use a spreader and the recommended spreader settings to get the correct light passes.
• Mowing
Cool season grasses like Tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass need to be mowed twice a week. When cutting any of the cool season grasses, think about the following:
– Set the mower height between 2.5 inches and not exceeding 3.5 inches.
– The entire grass clipping should be used as mulch to retain nutrients in the soil.
– Ensure the blades are sharp to reduce stress on the plants when cutting.
– If your grass is tall, mow twice, the first at a high setting and the second mowing done a few days later at a lower setting.
• Watering
The cool spring temperature may make it unnecessary for you to water your lawn. The frequent rainfall keeps the soil wet thus your grasses do not loss much water. In rare occasions, some parts of the country may experience spring drought and therefore necessitate the use of irrigation.
• Seeding as Necessary
To seed or not depends on the nature of your lawn. If in the previous fall you did not overseed, make sure to do so during spring; otherwise, the cool season grasses should be maturing by now. Overseeding can also take place when there are visible patches on the field.
The following guidelines should take you through the seeding process
• Applying pre-emergent herbicides will kill all your seeds alongside the weeds
• If you are planting Tall fescue, use at least 1000g for every square foot and the Bluegrass use 450g per square feet.
• Water the grass seedlings regularly because their roots are not deep enough.

2. What Happens in the Fall?

• Aeration
For any lawn with cool season grasses, fall is the best time to aerate the soil to allow the air to reach the roots. It is a good idea to use a core aerator to remove cores lying on the lawn.
Before the aeration, mow the lawn so that the aerating machine can move in different directions with ease. When done, prepare for overseeding and fertilizing.
After aeration, this is the best season to overseed the lawn to make sure all dead areas or patches are filled. Use only cool grass seeds that are suitable in your locality. Use these seeding guidelines:
– For the Tall frescue seeds use at least 1000g per square feet
– For the Kentucky bluegrass use 450g per square feet
When all expectations are met, the seeds will germinate after one week for the Tall fescue, and the Kentucky bluegrass takes at least two weeks. Fertilizing after the seeding process ensures that your lawn gets the right nutrients when they need them the most.
• Fertilization
The weather is now cool, and your lawn should be growing fast. Before adding anything to the soil, a sample soil test is needed to determine if you need to add phosphorous or nitrogen. Always remember at any given time that you are spreading fertilizers, use the recommended rate and the correct spreader setting.
• Leaf Removal
Removing fallen leaves is an essential step in lawn care maintenance. When left lying there, the thicket will hinder sunlight from reaching all areas of the lawn. Remove leaves every few days.

3. What Happens in the Summer?

• Watering
During summer, watering is necessary. However, it all depends on the look you want the lawn to have. Some would prefer the lawn to have a bit of discoloration to match the hot season. Most of the cool grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, Tall fescue, and Ryegrass tend towards being dormant and turning yellow. Give the lawn some hope by watering in the early mornings and late evenings.
• Fungus
The main concern during summer is the fungal infections that set in when the weather is warm and humid at night. In most of these cool season grasses, you will notice circular brown spots on their blades.
Cure Fungus Using the Following Practices:
– Water the lawn in the morning and evening only.
– Use sharp mowing blades as dull blades lead to spore formation.
– Do not use fertilizers at this time of the year.
– Use a liquid fungicide to reduce the effect of high night temperature.
– Grub Control
If left uncontrolled, grub will wreak havoc the entire lawn because they feed on the roots of the grasses. When beetles start laying eggs, apply a chemical that controls grub before they go deep in the soil

4. What Happens in Winter

Cold temperatures in winter mean the cool season grasses also become dormant and turn greenish yellow until the spring season. The noticeable thing about this time is the ice forming on the grass blades, which will turn brown and will resume its color once the weather changes to warm.
For a perfect lawn throughout the year, timing is perfect. Whether it is overseeding, mowing, applying fertilizers, etc., make sure everything takes place at the right time. If you need to learn more about lawn care than I recommend reading lawn care guides online to get started.