Seasonal Yard Care

In the Spring

  • Plant trees, shrubs, flowers, and/or vegetables.
  • Remove leftover leaves, dead plants, and lawn debris. Trim shrubs that brush against the house.
  • Plant grass seed in bare patches.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed preventer, if needed. Fertilize lawn, if needed. Make sure to use a zero-sulfur fertilizer (the number is on the bag).
  • Unless trees have been storm damaged, hold off tree trimming until autumn or winter when it's healthier to prune trees.

In the Summer

  • Move the lawn mower blade height up so that it cuts no more than the top one-third of the grass blade. Your lawn will be healthier, and you'll have fewer weeds if the grass isn't mown shorter than two to two and a half inches.
  • If it doesn't rain, water lawn weekly. Deep watering is better than frequent, shallow watering.
  • Take inventory of your yard. Are there areas of grass that never do well? Consider replacing grass with shrubs, perennials, or ground covers. Take photos now for winter planning.
  • Allowing grass clippings to remain on the lawn after mowing is actually beneficial. This process is known as grass-cycling.
  • Make sure to water in the early morning or late evening to prevent excessive evaporation.

In the Fall

  • Trim back any tree limbs that hit your roof or house. If needed, arrange to have trees pruned this fall or winter.
  • To ease raking, cut grass to a shorter length and try mowing over leaves. Use chopped up leaves for mulch. Rake leaves off lawns and streets (especially leaves clogging storm sewer openings).
  • If needed, fertilize your lawn: once in mid-September and again in early October. Also, consider aerating your lawn.
  • Deeply water trees and shrubs. Consider planting bulbs to enjoy next spring.
  • Shut off and drain outside faucets.
  • If you have an underground lawn sprinkler system, check for leaky valves, exposed lines, and back-flow protection.

In the Winter

  • Shovel sidewalks and driveways before foot or car traffic makes snow hard to remove.
  • Very carefully remove heavy snow from roofs to avoid ice dams. Hire a professional if you are not sure how to do this.
  • If your home is near a fire hydrant, shovel snow away from the hydrant so firefighters can access it quickly.
  • If your home is next to a storm sewer opening, shovel snow away from the sewer grate when temperatures begin to rise.