We look forward to four distinct but mild seasons in Richmond. Unlike areas that suffer six months of summer or winter, we can expect predictable seasonal shifts at regular intervals. While this offers a beautiful, changing landscape and a variety of weather conditions, it also means that with each season, our lawns require different types of care. Here’s a monthly guide to lawn care in Richmond, VA.
During the coldest months of winter, there’s little to do when it comes to lawn care. But even a little bit is critical is you want a healthy lawn come spring. January is a time to snuggle up and focus on indoor activity–no maintenance necessary. However, sometime in February or March, it’s you’ll need to apply a 15-5-5 fertilizer and a pre-emergent treatment if you know that crabgrass or nutsedge is a problem.
As spring begins to set in and everything comes back to life, do a thorough raking and cleaning of your yard. Remove any leaves, debris, and litter that may have collected over the winter. Cut back any trees that have hanging branches and get your lawn mower tuned up. Even the most powerful mower needs the blades sharpened. What you should not do in April is fertilize your lawn. That will only make it more vulnerable to diseases. If you choose to apply another pre-emergent to the lawn, find one that is not packaged with a fertilizer. You can apply fertilizer in late May at a rate of half a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Make sure your lawn is summer-ready.
Once summer is in full swing, your monthly guide to lawn care involves mowing. You’ll want to mow often, but maintain the recommended height for your grass type. Know your grass type so you can mow it right. For Bermuda or Zoysiagrass, 1/2 to 1 inch is perfect. Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass can be cut to 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. Tall fescue, on the other hand, should stand at 2 to 3 inches. Cool-season turfgrasses can be cut on the high side in the warmer months to keep them as resilient to pests and heat as possible. Leave clippings where they fall to add natural fertilizer to the lawn and reduce the need to fertilize in the fall.
During summer, make sure your lawn is getting enough water. Don’t irrigate until it is actually thirsty, but rest assured that your grass will tell you when it’s time. When you walk across the yard and see footprints that remain a few minutes after impact, that means it’s time to water. Air on the side of caution, watering deeply and less frequently rather than watering shallow and often. Water in the pre-dawn hours to avoid leaving any moisture clinging to blades overnight, which can invite fungal disease.
As autumn brings crisp, cool weather, the most critical period of lawn care is upon you. Now’s the time to aerate, overseed and fertilize. Hand-pull any odd weeds as they come up, and pay close attention to make sure you don’t have any weed infestations that require weed control.
Your monthly guide to lawn care in Richmond includes some chores in December. This is a great time to apply a bit of fertilizer, the same as you did in September. Once that’s done, you can cozy up and rest assured that your work is done until next year.
Have more questions about lawn care and landscaping? Visit our Richmond, VA lawn care page for more guides and additional information.