My 2022 Lawn Schedule And Plan

One of the many things that I've found a little bit of joy with in the yard and garden over the years is in doing my lawn upkeep myself.  By 'upkeep', I mean both treating, feeding and mowing the front and back with both my push mower and the Automower.  When we first moved in, I had 'a guy', but I wasn't that happy with how they were cutting it (when, how often, height, etc), so I transitioned back to doing it myself and bought myself my own push/self-propelled lawn mower.

Just like with planting, laying out the beds and other yard/garden projects, I've found it most helpful to put down a schedule here as a way of guiding my decision-making over the coming months.  I first did this in 2020 and it was a helpful steer.  Last year?  I kinda 'wing'd it' and I'm pretty sure I need to get back to the schedule this year.   Why?  Because, last year I saw the MOST weeds, the most significant damage and the worst-looking lawn (parts) since we moved in back in 2017.

Here's the tick-tock of 2021 below.  

April: 

May:

June:

July:
  • I don't have a post, but I'm pretty sure I fed the entire lawn on/around 4th of July.
August:
  • I don't have a post, so unclear if I fed at Labor Day.  Should have, but am not certain.
  • With the long, hard, dry season, I had some areas in back that didn't appear to come back from heat-stress-induced dormancy.  So, I decided to overseed them.  With...Tall Fescue.  Eek!
October:
November:
  • I was pretty deliberate in mulching in a TON Of our leaves into the lawn - both front and back.
  • My neighbor used his aerator on my front, main lawn.  But NOT on my backyard.
December:
Looking back on that list, what did I get right?
  • I'm hopeful with the mulched leaves + early December nitrogen dose will set the lawn up for success this year.
  • I cut the front tall - but lower than previous years.
  • I conditioned the soil.  But...see the other notes below.
  • I attempted to treat the wild onions, I put down grub and tick killer as well as fungicide.
  • I tried some growth regulators.
  • I overseeded.
  • I had my neighbor Matt run is pull-behind aerator on my front lawn.  
What did I NOT get right? 

  • I don't think I put down a pre-emergent.  And guess what? I had weeds.
  • I didn't test the soil.  So, I have no idea if any of the conditioners have done anything.  Flying blind. I also have used a lot of the same n-p-k ratios.
  • I don't know (and probably didn't) feed at July 4th and Labor Day.
  • I now have a mis-matched patch of Tall Fescue in a sea of KBG. 
  • My blades need sharpening!
  • I didn't use any local biosolids.

All of which leads me to lay out some of my (current) thinking and planning for 2022:

March:   

  • Buy some of the products.  Buy a pre-emergent - like this WeedEx with Halts - would need 3 bags.  Buy 4 bags of lime (3 back, 1 front).  Buy 12 bags of organic - for Labor Day and Thanksgiving.  1 treatment of weed/feed for Memorial Day and 1 treatment of high-heat 4th of July treatment.  15K of bags of grub killer.  15k of fungicide.  15k of insect.  5k of growth regulator
  • I should get one of my blades sharpened.

April:  

  • Time the application of the pre-emergent properly. Do whole lawn.
  • Apply the pelletized lime to back and front.
  • Use up rest of Humic that I have on hand.
  • Order a delivery of 3 yards of biosolids to spread on my parkway and front yard.
  • Cut the front lawn at a 3 and see if the front lawn can handle the stress.
May:
  • Apply insect control
  • Memorial Day;  Apply synthetic weed and feed - 10K but skip the back half.
June:
  • Early June: apply grub killer.
  • June:  apply growth regulator to front
  • Late June:  apply fungicide - 15k
  • Late June:  Test the soil.
  • Late June:  apply first treatment of ground clear on rear renovation plot
July:
  • Early July:  Apply 10k of synthetic fert - skip the back half.
  • Mid-July:  Apply 2nd application of ground clear on renovation plot

August:  follow RENOVATION blog post plan (that I have to write...)

  • Early August - detatch, add soil, prep for renovation
  • Mid-August:  lay down this turf builder triple action built for seeding.  includes pre-emergent!
  • Mid-August:  seed in renovation area.
  • Mid-August:  overseed closer to patio and in the front yard.

September:

  • Apply 6 bags of milo/ecor organic.
Oct/Nov:
  • Aerate and mulch in leaves
Dec:
  • Granular biosolid dormant feeding - 6 bags.
What's my shopping list look like?  Something like this below.  I'll start with the WeedEx and some Milogranite/E-Corganite as well as Lime.


That isn't a cheap program and it doesn't even include the 'ground clear' or grass killer that I'm going to have to lay down ahead of a late Summer renovation, so the price will go up.  It also is light on soil amendments - like biochar and humic acid that are expensive, but I'm going to (hopefully) apply a layer of local biosolids in some spots (parkway, IB2DW, front yard) to help move the soil along.  It is also SILENT on Ironite, which I've used the past few seasons to green-up the front lawn without pushing new growth.  This year, I'll try to go without.

This isn't a perfect schedule, but at least it gives me something to aim against.  I also think that moving away from a pure Milorganite/E-Corganite schedule with some fertilizer with potassium (i.e. something with a non-zero in their N-P-K analysis) will help balance what I've been doing the past few seasons.

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