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Lawn Care Tips for the Washington, D.C., Area

Lawn Care Tips for the Washington, D.C., Area

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Timing is everything when you’re taking care of a lawn in and around Washington, D.C. After the snow melts and the grass is finally visible, many homeowners start thinking about how they can get their lawn looking its best. If you’ve had trouble keeping your lawn lush and green despite your best efforts, it’s quite possible that you might be doing the right things, but at the wrong times. Read on for a list of the must-do tasks for each season.

Spring

  • Fertilizing: Consider your choices carefully. Chemical fertilizers work more quickly and can give you a greener lawn, but they may damage the soil if not used carefully. Organic fertilizers may be more hit-and-miss, but they tend to be better for the environment. Keep fertilizing light during the spring and save the heavier application for the fall.
  • Mowing: Most types of grasses grown in the D.C. area (like Kentucky Bluegrass and fescue) do best when they’re left longer, about 2.5-3″ in height. Raise the blade on your mower so you aren’t cutting the grass too close.
  • Pre-emergent Weed Control: This type of herbicide is put down before crabgrass and other types of weeds have a chance to emerge. It prevents the seeds from germinating at all, so it’s one of the most effective ways to combat weeds.

Summer

  • Mowing: Since summer is your lawn’s most active growing season, you’ll want to make sure you mow frequently to maintain the optimum 2.5-3″ blade length.
  • Watering: Irrigate your lawn deeply and infrequently (about once a week when there hasn’t been any rain) to encourage deep root growth.
  • Post-emergent Weed Control: This is the process of killing weeds after they’ve already sprouted, the most familiar type of weed control to most homeowners. It’s a good idea to choose a product that is targeted to the type of weeds you’re trying to kill so it leaves the rest of your lawn untouched.

Fall

  • Mowing: Although the trees and shrubs slow down their growth when cooler temperatures arrive, grass keeps going strong throughout the fall. You can mow the lawn a little more closely than in the summer.
  • Re-seeding: Although you might think planting is a spring activity, the truth is that fall is the correct time to plant if you want new growth in the spring.
  • Fertilizing: Do the bulk of your fertilizing now, because this is the best time to stimulate root growth. Different types of grasses need different amounts and types of fertilizer, so make sure you’re applying the right one for your lawn.

Winter

  • Mowing: give your lawn a final, shorter cut before you put the lawnmower away for the season. This will help it weather the winter better.

Paying attention to the calendar and knowing what to do when will help your Washington, D.C., area lawn be the best that it can be.

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