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Basic Lawn Care for Renters

Are you renting a home and are now responsible for lawn care and don’t know where to start? Use these basic lawn care tips to take care of the lawn at your rental home and your landlord will thank you.

What is “Weed & Feed”?
Weed & Feed is a combination of herbicide (weed killer) and fertilizer (vitamins in the form of N-nitrogen, P-phosphorus, and K-potassium). Herbicide is a toxic substance designed to kill existing weeds and prevent new ones from forming. Nitrogen promotes the green color, phosphorous promotes root growth and potassium helps the grass survive temperature extremes.

Should I use a Weed & Feed Combination?
Most weed and feed combinations actively kill dandelions and other major weeds that have strong, deep root systems. The weed and feed package will provide a list of exactly what plants it kills, along with application and frequency instructions. Weed and feed should be used on established lawns, as the “weed” mixture can kill young grass and seedlings. If you don’t have a weed problem, fertilizer is all you need.

Why should I fertilize my lawn?
A well-fed lawn is healthier, which means it has a better root system to combat heat, cold, drought, mowing, foot traffic and other stresses. Feeding your lawn once a year will improve its condition, but to have a really healthy lawn plan on feeding it 3-4 times a year.

When should I fertilize my lawn?
A schedule that is easy to remember is:
The Ides of March (March 15) – This should be about the time of the first mowing of the year, an early spring feeding will strengthen the roots. If your lawn had crabgrass last year, apply a product that also contains a pre-emergent. This is also the time to prune your roses.
Memorial Day
4th of July
Labor Day – This final feeding will help your lawn recover from summer damage, strengthen roots and increase nitrogen storage for a healthier lawn next year.

When should I use a Weed Preventer?
Weed preventers or pre-emergent herbicides stop seeds from germinating so are not effective against weeds that have already begun to grow. Crabgrass is the primary target of pre-emergent herbicides for lawns, it normally germinates just after forsythia blooms. So take a cue from Mother Nature, apply weed preventer when you notice forsythia blossoms dropping and water as soon as possible to activate it. Forsythia bushes have bright yellow blossoms in the spring.

Should I aerate my lawn?
Aerating benefits all lawns by loosening soil and reducing thatch buildup, aerate when the soil is moist and grass is actively growing, Spring or Fall is best.

How often should I mow?
While it may fit your routine to mow every weekend, when growth is vigorous your lawn may benefit from mowing every four or five days. Mow by the one-third rule rather than by the calendar. What’s the one-third rule? Mow often enough to avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height, so if you set your mower to 2 inches, mow before the grass is longer than 3 inches so you are only cutting off one-third of the grass. Cutting off more than one-third per mowing can stress the lawn and make it less attractive.

When should I water?
Early morning is the best time to give your lawn a drink. Afternoon watering is not water-wise as significant water loss can occur due to evaporation. Nighttime watering can encourage disease because of prolonged moisture. Irrigation systems have many benefits, but don’t forget to change your timer as the weather warms going into summer and then again as it cools in the fall. Also be alert to any water restrictions that may be put into effect by local authorities.


Looking for a home to rent so you can start caring for a lawn? Check out the possibilities with Crown Property Management or call our Residential Leasing line at 509-735-0165.

Or perhaps you are a property owner and were wishing your renters were taking better care of the lawn, for more information about our property management services and how we can help with your investment, give us a call at 509-735-0415 or send us an email at