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Lawn Care Calendar & Schedule – Month-by-Month

Looking for an easy-to-follow, month-to-month lawn care guide? Lawn Phix created this specialized lawn care calendar and schedule for cool season grasses – located in the Northeast (Zone 6b) in New England. Quickly check your lawn care tasks for each month of the season in this monthly guide to a healthy, thick green turf. 

View and make a copy of my 2020 lawn care calendar on Google Sheets – and download a free copy of my cool season lawn care guide here.

March Lawn Care

  • The first day of spring is March 19, 2020
  • Cleaning up is the main goal this month. Remove all branches, sticks, twigs, acorns and/or pine cones from the grass
  • Pick up all other debris such as leaves that may have stuck remained over winter. A leaf blower is a good idea
  • Get your mower ready. Sharpen your blades. I love the Gator G3 mulching blade by Oregon
  • Get a soil test done so you know what your dirt needs heading into the season

Save 10 on Pre Emergents

April Lawn Care

  • Lightly rake the grass. This is going to help with airflow and circulation, and allow the blades of grass to stand up, exposing more blade surface to the sunlight
  • Use a pre-emergent before soil temps hit 55 degrees. When forsythia start blooming, the crabgrass seeds are germinating. Stay ahead here
  • If you didn’t winterize your lawn from the previous fall/winter, and didn’t add a late season fertilizer, use an organic here like Milorganite or Bay State
  • Consider adding humic acids and L-amino acids through the form of Essentials 1-0-1 or Kelp4Less ExtremeBlend
  • Lime here if needed (see: soil test)
  • 4 Step Plan users: Your Step 1 begins now
  • Detailed Spring Lawn Care Tips
  • Products:

 

 

 

 

 

 

May Lawn Care

  • Mow tall and frequently. Recycle, or mulch your clippings back into the grass. Don’t bag unless the clippings are too long – in which case you need to mow taller and/or more frequently. Looking for 3″  blades
  • Continue to address soil test. Add a starter fertilizer now as soil temps hit 60 degrees and the turf really begins to grow
  • Apply a second application of pre-emergent, this time using Dithiopyr. It also has post emergent qualities that will help kill crabgrass and dandelions 
  • Begin to spot spray weeds. For a detailed post about weed control, read How To Get Rid of and Control Weeds in Your Lawn
  • Understand N counts by using our Nitrogen Calculator 
  • Begin your fungicide preventative treatments now with azoxystrobin and propiconazole
  • Products:

June Lawn Care

  • The first day of summer is June 20, 2020
  • Begin your irrigation. Aim for 1″-1.5″ of water per week – including natural rain water. Water deeply but infrequently: 2-3 times per week at the most, preferably between 4-9 a.m. 
  • Grub Control & Treatment: If there’s a history of grubs or sod webworms, use an insecticide containing Dylox
  • Fungus can also start now. Ideal climates are hot and humid. 2018 had lots of rain and hot humid overnight temps which was ideal for brown spot etc. An application of Heritage G can preventative and control turfgrass diseases for up to 28 days (also see products from May above)
  • Raise mower height to ~3.5″ (depending on grass type)
  • Spot-spray broadleaf weeds in earlier mornings or later evenings when air temperatures are under 85 degrees
  • Fertilize with low-nitrogen organics
  • Products:

July Lawn Care

  • High heat and low rainfalls may lead to dormant grasses
  • Irrigate as long as your town allows. Aiming for 1.5″ of weekly watering
  • Keep an eye out for lawn diseases and fungus – especially as humidity rises
  • Watch for grubs and other lawn insects
  • Fertilize with low-nitrogen organics or skip all together
    • Never fertilize dormant turf
  • Products:

August Lawn Care 

  • Same as July…
  • Keep an eye out for lawn diseases and fungus – especially as humidity rises. Treat with a Heritage G type product
  • Watch for grubs and other lawn insects
    • Use a product containing Dylox to control grubs and sod webworms
  • Fertilize with low-nitrogen organics or skip all together
    • Never fertilize dormant turf

September Lawn Care 

  • First day of fall is September 22, 2020
  • Best time of year to start a new lawn and/or overseed you lawn
  • Dethatch using a power rake, tow-behind dethatcher, or dethatching rake
  • Core aerate doing a double-pass – up/down then left/right (north/south and east/west)
  • Mow low around 2.5″
  • Overseed or slice seed. Depending on how thin or think your turn is, aiming for 3- lbs. per 1,000
  • Fertilize with an organic and starter fertilizer. Think Milorganite or Bay State and Lesco or Jonathan Green starter fertilizers
  • Lime – depending on soil needs, a calcitic lime like Jonathan Green Magical 
  • When seeding, you can also use Tenacity

October Lawn Care 

  • Mow low again, aiming for ~2.5 – 3.0″ grass height. Final cut of the season should be 2″
  • If you skipped September tasks, do it early as nighttime temps will drop to unfavorable temperatures for new seedlings trying to germinate
  • Begin winterizer fertilizer like Jonathan Green Winter Survival
  • Continue spot-spraying weeds once you’ve mowed your new grass at least twice

November Lawn Care 

  • Lime with pelletized lime to over-winter
  • Final application of winterizer fertilizer
  • Scalp the lawn to 2″ 

So, there you have it. I hope this calendar helps you with your annual lawn care maintenance. It’s worked for me – check out my front yard renovations.

Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

 

My new Cool Season Lawn Care Guide now available for download! Click the image below to get yours today!

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to overseed my lawn?

For cool season lawns, the best time to overseed is late summer and early fall. For example, in the Northeast and Zone 5-6, generally the last week of August or beginning of September are the best conditions for new grass. The number of weeds to be invasive are much lower in September than spring seeding in the spring (April).

Can I fertilize my lawn in the summer time?

If you can irrigate regularly, you can still add fertilizer. However, it is best to apply less nitrogen during the hot summer months – particularly when drought stress occurs. Ideally, spoon feeding with micronutrients such as humic acid and sea kelp (Kelp4Less ExtremeBlend) or a combination with molasses powder (Kelp4Less Green Lawn & Turf). Molasses in the hotter months can provide energy in the form of sugars/carbohydrates which can help “dethatch” the lawn.

How early can I fertilize my lawn in spring?

In the Northeast and in Massachusetts (Zone 5-6) for example, you can begin to feed your lawn in April and May. Feeding your lawn too early can cause excessive top growth which isn’t ideal – particularly if there’s still risk of freezing overnight temperatures and morning frost. When the overnight air temps and soil temperatures are consistently in the 40s and 50s respectively is a good time to begin your fertilization.

How frequently should I mow my lawn?

During peak growing season (May & June in the Northeast) you could be mowing as frequently as 2-3 times per week. This, of course, also depends on your fertilization and watering schedule. Ideally you follow the “1/3 rule” where you are never cutting off more than 1/3 of the grass blade during each mowing. Example, if you want to maintain a 3″ lawn, you never want the grass to exceed

8 thoughts on “Lawn Care Calendar & Schedule – Month-by-Month”

  1. Hi,
    I appreciate you providing this info! I’m new at caring for my lawn, but have really enjoyed learning over the last few years.

    Recently I’ve discovered Poa Annua in a large portion of my yard. We live in Boston. I know I need to apply a pre-emergent in the fall for prevention, but since I’m seeing the weeds in my yard now, I’ve read that putting down a post-emergent would be a good idea. The problem is that most post-emergent herbicides are for warm season grasses. What would you recommend for this problem?

    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Hi Abby. You can use Tenacity to damage the plant. But they are annuals, so they will soon die off by the summer. The Tenacity will cause it to turn brown – not sure if you want that at this time of year.

      https://lawnphix.com/lawn-care/poa-annua-annual-bluegrass-weed-control/

      Apply your normal split applications of pre-emergents in early April and early June, and again late August. Mow tall and avoid over-watering. These will help suppress poa annua. But keep in mind that they drop many seeds. These seeds are tough and can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating. So it’s a classic case of being a marathon and not a sprint. Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Hi,
    I really enjoy your month by month care program. One of a kind out there.
    I live in Lexington MA, and I’ve been having a lot of moss growing all over. And so are my neighbors. I know about poor drainage, acidic soil and wet/humid conditions, but is moss a growing problem now a days? (pardon the pun). Anyway, what can I do to mitigate this issue? thanks for you time and efforts.
    Al

    Reply
    • Hi Al – thanks! Sounds like you know what type of soil conditions are for moss. But it can really grow anywhere. Aside from what you mentioned (damp conditions, shady area etc.) moss also grows because of bare spots. Mother Nature doesn’t like bare spots and will fill it in, be it moss or weeds etc. You could kill the moss with Moss Out when try to re-seed that area. I’d probably suggest bringing in some new screened loam and overseeding heavily to cover those areas. Good luck and I hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. Hi Mark,

    Great information for someone who’s completely new to lawn care!

    I had some large patches of dead grass (learned recently due to grubs – I thought it was just dormant, and it wasn’t coming back). I just removed the dead grass, but is it too late to seed? If it is, and I seed in the fall, would I apply the starter fertilizer to the bare spots, seed, and then switch back to regular for the rest of the lawn?

    Reply
    • Hi Julio,

      Thanks! Depending on where you live, it may not be too late. I’m in Massachusetts and just seeded my backyard. Just get good seed-to-soil contact, cover with peat moss, and keep it damp. If you seeded in the fall, I would overseed the entire yard, hit those bare spots heavier, and use starter fertilizer over the entire lawn.

      Good luck!

      Reply

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