We often get asked about how many times various lawn care services are needed throughout the year. There can be a lot of confusion associated with this—and we get that.
With so many lawn care companies is Ashburn, Aldie, and Leesburg, VA packaging their programs in different ways, it can be very difficult to determine just how many times should you fertilize your lawn—as well as have other services/treatments performed.
While some people get caught up on the number of visits their lawn care company is making, what services are being performed (and when) is what really matters.
Still, we understand that you might not know what’s needed on your property, which is why we wanted to put together a handy guide walking you through the timing of the most important lawn care services.
Lawn Treatment & Lawn Fertilizer Schedule
We know that there are a lot of questions along the lines of how many lawn treatments do I really need?
To help you understand what lawn care services are important throughout the year, let’s take a look at a timeline of what should happen between early spring and late fall/early winter in order to achieve the best lawn results.
A Soil Test to Start
First and foremost, it’s important to note that all of our lawn care packages start with a soil test. This is because we believe strongly in having a reason for exactly what treatments we are performing. It is not just a random decision.
For example, with a soil test, we know exactly how much lime might be needed to bring your soil pH to where it needs to be. With this soil test as our guide, we’ll perform the following services, during the following times of the year.
While fertilization services for your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home will continue throughout the season, they begin in early spring. At this time, we’ll also apply crabgrass pre-emergent, the timing of which is critical to its success. Crabgrass pre-emergent (or “preventer” as it’s often called) works by forming a thin barrier near the surface of the soil which intercepts the germinating crabgrass seeds.
When the germinating seed comes into contact with the product, it stops growing. This prevents the majority of crabgrass from growing in the first place. But this is why it’s important this product is applied early—before crabgrass begins to germinate.
Lawns grow vigorously in the spring, utilizing large amounts of nutrients. This is why in mid-spring we will continue with fertilization services. This second round will help maintain your yard’s color as well as reduce the potential for certain turf diseases.
We will also perform an additional crabgrass pre-emergent treatment, to reinforce the barrier and build on top of it, and begin broadleaf weed control to address some of the common broadleaf weeds in your lawn.
With the warmer summer weather comes some potentially new problems with your lawn. This is another important time to apply fertilizer. In fact, the fertilizer we apply now will help your lawn later after the appearance of late summer stresses.
As summer annual weeds begin to emerge at this time, we’ll also continue with broadleaf weed control. Spot treatments will be performed as needed.
Another important service in early summer is preventative grub control. Lawn grubs—those white C-shaped creatures you may find lurking in your soil—have the power to be highly destructive (by feeding on your grassroots) and it’s very important to prevent them from having the opportunity to do any damage.
That makes the timing of preventative product important. You want to make sure that it’s put down before grubs hatch, or at least while they’re still young. If you miss this window, your lawn care company may need to switch to a curative product in late summer that will take care of hatching grubs.
Recognizing that weeds are often quite problematic during the summer months, additional broadleaf weed control will help keep pesky lawns at bay during these warm days when many weed varieties thrive.
We will continue treating weeds as summer carries on. The tough, summer annual weeds may appear near edges or thinner areas, so our spot-treating will discourage them from spreading.
At this time, we will also apply late summer micro-nutrients which will help strengthen your lawn’s health and naturally defend itself against stressors.
As the weather continues to change, so does your lawn’s needs. At this time, we will apply early fall fertilizer. These added nutrients will help repair your lawn from summer stresses while also improving color and vigor.
We will also continue with broadleaf weed control. As the season cools, more broadleaf weeds may appear. Fortunately, fall is the best time to get good control of weeds, particularly with some of the harder-to-control ones.
In the early fall, we’ll also perform aeration services, which we will discuss in more detail further on.
Late Fall/Early Winter
An appropriately timed limestone application is important in the late fall. This is because the chemical reactions that help balance the soil’s acidity do not happen overnight.
It may be between 4 and 6 months before the soil reaches the ideal pH balance that you’re striving for. This well-timed application will prepare the soil for the spring growing season. The lime will perform its chemistry during the winter when you aren’t growing anything anyway.
In addition, late fall/early winter fertilization services will help your lawn to be more resilient during and after the colder winter months ahead.
How Many Times to Aerate Your Lawn
As we mentioned, we wanted to go into more detail about lawn aeration and overseeding, which is included in our Plus and Premier packages. Aeration and overseeding are two of the most important lawn care services that can be performed on your lawn and the timing is very important.
In order to receive the best possible results, we recommend annual aeration every fall. The fall is the best time to aerate as this is also the time that we would overseed (also included in Plus and Premier). It is best for the seeds to fall into the holes we create through aeration in order to get them into the soil.
Overseeding is best done in the fall because the weather conditions are ideal for new grass growth. While the soil is still warm, the air is cool. This provides the best possible growing conditions for seed germination which, in turn, improves the chance of new grass survival.
A Word of Caution: Don’t Get Too Caught Up by Numbers
The timeline of services that we have described hopefully gave you a sense of how many lawn applications are necessary. However, as we said early on, we always stress to homeowners that they shouldn’t get so caught up on numbers of treatments or visits as long as their lawn is receiving everything it needs.
You must also keep in mind that treatments are sometimes combined so how many times your lawn care company sprays does not necessarily equate to how many “treatments you received.”
Of course, we’re not saying that number of visits doesn’t matter at all. There is a big difference between a program that includes 4 visits and one that is 7 or 8. While you don’t want your lawn care technician coming out an unnecessary number of times, there is definitely something to be said for a pro being out on your property on an ongoing basis.
For one, it is during this time that they are assessing how the lawn is doing overall—and that professional eye is important. It’s also when they could spot a potential problem and then get treatment started early. This is important since a lot of lawn care problems can get rapidly worse. If your lawn care technician were only to come out in the early spring and then not again until summer, a problem that could have been stopped in its tracks may have taken over by then.
It’s also important that your lawn care program is robust enough to cover the different needs that your lawn will have at different times of the year. The varying times of year will bring with them varying diseases.
Similarly, different weeds will grow at different times of the year. For these reasons, it’s important that your lawn care technician is switching up products and methods throughout the year to fully address all problems. The program and timeline that we outlined above will do just this.
Putting Your Trust in a Pro
While you want to make sure that your lawn is receiving everything that it needs, when push comes to shove, you probably don’t want to invest unnecessary time trying to keep up with how many lawn applications are necessary, what your technician is putting down each time they visit, or any of the other hundreds of details that go into making your lawn look great.
You just want to trust that your lawn will look great.
To be able to truly let go of your worries, you need to hire a lawn care professional that you trust. By doing so, you can feel confident that they know what’s right for your lawn and will get it done. You’re essentially handing over all the worries and stresses associated with figuring out what your lawn needs, and letting them handle it.
At Rock Water Farm, we feel confident in saying that our lawn care programs are solid. This is largely because we’re frequently analyzing them. We understand that things change and we invest time in keeping up with those changes. Because we have the data from all of the soil tests we perform on all of our properties, at the end of the year, we look at those results and make revisions as needed to the overall program. Plus, those soil tests always give us the ability to make customizations to any program as needed.
With science on our side, you can feel good about putting your trust in us. You can get on with enjoying your life and leave your lawn care worries in our hands.
If you’re ready to have a hassle-free lawn at your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and then get ready to finally have total satisfaction with your results.