10 DIY Lawn Care Tips for Oklahoma Homeowners

Understanding how to maintain your lawn not only helps your grass look great but can also add value to your home.

If you’re not in the market to hire a professional lawn care company, there are a few DIY lawn care tips you need to know.

Let’s go over 10 DIY tips for maintaining a beautiful lawn in Oklahoma.

1. Follow a Lawn Care Schedule

Caring for a lawn is a year-round endeavor, and having a guide to follow helps you stay on top of tasks at the appropriate times.

In the spring:

  • Pick up leaves and debris
  • Test your soil
  • Aerate your yard
  • Check over your lawn mower
  • Dethatch
  • Fertilize
  • Use a pre-emergent herbicide

The summer months require you to:

  • Mow high
  • Use post-emergent herbicide
  • Treat pests
  • Water regularly

When temperatures start to cool in the fall:

  • Fertilize your cool-season grass
  • Mow your grass shorter
  • Seed patchy areas

In winter:

  • Avoid too much foot traffic on fragile areas
  • Water occasionally if it’s unseasonably warm

2. Mow Correctly

Improving your home’s curb appeal is one of the key repairs you should consider before putting your home on the market, and a manicured lawn is a great start.

When mowing the lawn yourself, make sure your mower blade is sharp. A dull blade can bruise grass, weakening it and leaving it susceptible to disease, pests, and weeds.

Your grass should be kept taller in the warmer summer months to help your lawn compete against weeds. Grass can be mowed to a shorter height in the fall to prevent matting and disease in the winter.

Switch up your mowing patterns for upright growth and to avoid ruts in the lawn. Avoid mowing too early in the spring. You want your grass to establish a healthy length first.

3. Fertilize at the Right Time

Fertilizing your lawn helps it get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. For cool-season grass, aim to fertilize in early spring and fall. Warm-season grass can be fertilized when you notice new growth in spring.

It’s best to use a slow-release fertilizer to help prevent access leaching and turf burn. Slow-release fertilizers also help grass grow at a slow, even rate, saving you time on mowing.

Doing a soil test in the spring can tell you the PH level and nutrient needs of your lawn. Avoid applying fertilizer to your lawn in the summer when temperatures are hot, and in the winter when most Oklahoma grass is dormant.

4. Water in the Mornings

Moisture plays a considerable role in grass growth. When a lawn gets too little or too much moisture, it can threaten its health.

Plan on watering in the mornings once or twice a week, depending on the weather and the look of your grass. If you water a shallow amount often, your grass can have underdeveloped, shallow root systems that will make it more susceptible to issues.

Here are a few helpful resources for watering in Oklahoma City.

5. Aerate Your Lawn

In the spring, use a core aerator or manual fork to aerate your lawn. Aerating a lawn helps it with water movement and oxygen absorption.

After you’re done, break up the soil cores and leave them on your lawn to allow them to decompose nutrients back into your lawn. This can be done one to two times a year.

6. Pick the Right Grass

In Oklahoma, Bermuda grass does best in sunny spots and will usually survive the summer heat with moderate watering and fertilization.

If your yard has shady areas, you might consider planting St. Augustine (warm-season), Fescue (cool-season), or bluegrass (cool-season).

7. Overseed

Spread grass seed in areas of your lawn that are patchy, as this will help restore the lawn’s thickness. It’s best to spread seed in the spring and fall.
Grass seed will need to be watered every day. Make sure the soil is moist so it has a better chance of growing, but don’t overwater it or your seed can be washed away.

8. Dethatch

Thatch is an organic layer of dead and living roots, grass leaves, shoots, and stems found between the soil and new grass.

Although thatch can be beneficial in insulating grass roots, a layer thicker than 1/2 inch can impede the ability of grass to take in nutrients, air, and water.

To dethatch your lawn, use a rake and break up the thatch gently. Be careful not to harm new growth. Dispose of the loose thatch when done.

9. Irrigate

Investing in a sprinkler system can be helpful for DIY gardeners, but multi-zone sprinkler systems can cost around $1,700 to $4,000.

DIY sprinkler system kits are much cheaper and come in above-ground and below-ground variations.

When you decide it’s time to put your home on the market, having a professional sprinkler system adds value to your home and has a great return on investment.

10. Use the Right Herbicides and Pesticides

Using herbicides and pesticides can be daunting for a DIY gardener. If you decide to use them, be sure to follow all instructions and keep children and pets away.

In the spring, when temperatures reach 60 degrees, use a pre-emergent herbicide to keep crabgrass and other common Oklahoma weeds at bay. When the temperatures get warmer in the summer, you can use a post-emergent for annual and perennial weeds.

Pest-specific pesticides can be found at most lawn and garden stores. When in doubt, ask a professional for help.

There are a few safe alternatives to pesticides that can be used on your lawn. Diatomaceous earth is safe and can help rid your lawn of chiggers, fleas, ants, and other pests, while nematodes can be used to help keep the grub population low.

Invest in Your Lawn

Buyers don’t want to make the mistake of rushing into buying a home. And having a shabby landscape won’t help sell, especially if your home lacks in other areas you can’t change, like being far from the best local school district or close to amenities.

Improving your lawn is a great way to increase the appeal of your home, and you will likely see a worthwhile return on your investment.


About the Author

Roshelle Anderson is a freelance writer and editor from Oklahoma. From a young age, she was notorious for writing down humorous anecdotes about events on family vacations. She enjoys working with others to produce a well-crafted story no matter the subject. Roshelle is experienced in copy editing and proofreading for both fiction and nonfiction. She currently lives with her husband and three dogs, writing and fostering puppies for a local rescue.