Month-by-Month Connecticut Lawn Care Schedule

lawn in front of a house in Connecticut

You need to mow, water, keep an eye out for pests and weeds, and fertilize on time. Did we miss anything from this Connecticut lawn care schedule? Oh yes, dethatch and overseed in spring or fall.

It may be a lot at first, so we broke it down month by month, making it easy for you to keep track of your lawn care tasks. Here’s your comprehensive Connecticut lawn care schedule.

Connecticut lawn care: a month-to-month guide at a glance

Spring lawn care in Connecticut: March to May

Spring is the beginning of your lawn care adventure, so forget hunting Easter eggs or spring-cleaning cobwebs. Now it’s time to break out those gardening tools.

Rake and dethatch — mid-March to mid-April

Winter doesn’t always treat your lawn too kindly, leaving behind a layer of leaves, twigs, and other debris. So once the snow melts in Connecticut, get yourself a good leaf rake and start deep raking your lawn to remove all these remnants.

Pay special attention to areas next to roads, sidewalks, and driveways where salt buildup may have occurred from deicing. You should rake these areas thoroughly, and flush them out with the hose to protect the grass from any salt damage.

When you’re done with the raking part, check for any thatch buildup. If you find that the layer is more than 1/2 inch thick, you should also dethatch your lawn. 

Soil test — mid-March to mid-April

Farmer holding soil in hands close up
Adobe Stock

Before taking any actions, take a soil test and send it to be analyzed by the UConn Extension service. The soil test report will reveal the following:

  • The current pH level of your lawn’s soil. Most cool-season grasses in Connecticut prefer a pH range between 6.0 and 7.0. If your soil is too acidic, the report will recommend an application rate for lime to raise the pH level. Don’t know how to apply lime? No worries! We have an article on Why, When, and How to Apply Lime to Your Lawn.
  • The report will also show the levels of each major nutrient in your soil, like nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). This allows you to see exactly what to look for in a fertilizer, if one is needed.

Mow your lawn — Late April to early May

illustration explaining the one-third rule for mowing grass
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

Depending on the weather conditions, you may start mowing anywhere from late April to early May. Just set your mower at 3 to 4 inches for this initial cut on most cool-season grass types.

Remember the one-third rule: Never remove more than one-third of a blade’s length in a single mow. Mowing too low can stress the lawn and allow weeds to take over.

Here’s a table of the best grass seed for Connecticut lawns and their ideal mowing heights and frequency:

Grass TypeRecommended Mowing HeightRecommended Mowing Frequency
Kentucky Bluegrass1.5 – 2.5 inches5 – 7 days
Fine Fescue2 – 2.5 inches7 – 10 days
Tall Fescue2 – 3 inches5 – 7 days
Perennial Ryegrass1.5 – 2 inches5 – 7 days

Fertilize — Late April to early May

Lawn fertilizer being spread with a manual fertilizer spreader

After that first mow of the season, you can apply organic fertilizers like compost, alfalfa, or corn gluten meal based on the soil test results. If it’s possible, you should avoid using synthetic fertilizers due to their negative impacts on soil and the environment, according to U.S. EPA Research.

Note: Phosphorus is a regulated nutrient in Connecticut. Connecticut law prohibits the application of phosphorus to established lawns unless a soil test indicates it is needed.

Aerate — mid-April to mid-June

illustration showing how aeration works and the benefits of aerating soil
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

If your lawn sees plenty of foot traffic, the soil may become compacted. This prevents the grass roots from absorbing nutrients and water efficiently. The best time to aerate your lawn is when the grass is in its peak growing season and can quickly recover. For the cool-season lawns in Connecticut, that’s usually in the mid-spring and fall.

For those living in areas with heavy clay soils, which is a common thing across parts of Connecticut, or if you have a thatch buildup of half an inch or more, an annual aeration is recommended. If you have sandy soil, you only need to aerate your lawn every two to three years.

Overseed — mid-April to mid-May

Have you seen any bare spots on your lawn? Did you miss the fall planting window? Spring is the second best time to overseed your lawn. Overseed your lawn when the soil temperatures reach 50 to 65 degrees F for best germination. This allows the new grass seeds to be established before the summer heat and drought.

Choose a grass seed mix that’s suitable for Connecticut’s mixed humid climate. Select a grass mixture of Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass for sunnier areas, and use a fescue blend for areas with partial or full shade.

Weed control: grassy weeds — mid-March to mid-April

gardener holding out weeds

Crabgrass and other annual grassy weeds like foxtail and goosegrass start germinating when soil temperatures reach 55 to 60 degrees F for several consecutive days. This typically occurs between mid-March and mid-April in most parts of the state.

To prevent a grassy weed invasion, apply a pre-emergent herbicide containing active ingredients like prodiamine, dithiopyr, or pendimethalin. Besides the soil temperature, another good indicator for when to apply a pre-emergent herbicide is when forsythia bushes start to bloom.

Note: Most pre-emergent herbicides can control both grassy and broadleaf weeds, but the ideal application timing varies between the two by a few weeks. Always check the product label for specific application instructions and timings.

Weed control: broadleaf weeds — mid-April to mid-June

To control broadleaf weeds that have already emerged, you should wait a bit longer until the weather warms up a bit more. You should start targeting these weeds when the soil temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees F.

For the most common broadleaf weeds in Connecticut, like dandelions, ground ivy, and plantain, you can spot treat them with a liquid post-emergent herbicide. Select an herbicide that contains 2,4-D, dicamba, or triclopyr, or use selective post-emergent herbicides.

Just make sure to treat them early before they grow and spread seeds to prevent a full-scale invasion later in the season or the following year.

Summer lawn care in Connecticut: June to August

The summer season is here, so use this time to get your lawn through those heatwaves. It’s time to mow, hydrate, and continue monitoring for weeds, all while enjoying those long, sunny Connecticut days.

Mow your lawn — all summer

Now that the summer heat is setting in, maintain a regular weekly mowing schedule, keeping your cool-season grass between 3 to 4 inches tall. Why? Because this mowing height encourages deeper root growth while conserving moisture.

You should also leave the grass clippings on the lawn as mulch. Grass clippings return nutrients like nitrogen to the soil as they break down. Check out our article for more detail on everything you need to know about How to Mow a Lawn the Right Way.

Watering — June to August

sprinkler system watering lawn

During those hot, dry periods, your lawn will need about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week from rainfall or irrigation to maintain active growth. You should water in the early morning hours between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. This is the best time to water your grass to minimize evaporation loss.

Avoid frequent, light waterings, which promote shallow roots. Instead, water deeply and infrequently to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. 

This encourages deeper, drought-resistant roots. If you notice wilting or footprints on the lawn despite rainfall or adequate watering, this indicates drought stress. To help your lawn recover from drought, you can increase your watering to get through these dry spells.

Note: Keep in mind that many areas in Connecticut have watering restrictions in place from April 1st through October 31, so make sure to follow your local guidelines and water only on your designated days.

Pest management — July to August

Summer is when you might encounter many of Connecticut’s common lawn pests and diseases. And it’s not just ticks, mosquitoes, or the occasional dog pee spots on your grass that you should be concerned about. 

Here are a few more threats to watch for in Connecticut:

GrubsIrregular brown patches, spongy turf that pulls out easilyTreat with nematodes or grub control pesticides
Chinch bugsIrregular yellow/brown patches in drought-stressed lawnsUse insecticidal soaps or professional treatments
Brown patchCircular to irregular brown patches, sunken areas, purple-brown lesions on grass bladesAvoid excessive nitrogen fertilization before hot weather, water early morning, apply fungicides
Snow moldsCircular, straw-colored patches that appear as snow meltsAvoid late fall nitrogen fertilization, improve drainage, apply fungicides
AnthracnoseSmall red to purple spots on leaf blades, tip blights, weakened patches of turfFertilize, deep watering, mow when dry, apply fungicides
Pythium blightSmall irregular spots that merge into larger patches, grass laying flatAvoid overwatering, improve drainage, apply fungicides
Red threadReddish/pink patches in the lawnRaise nitrogen levels through fertilization
Dollar spotStraw-colored, circular patches about the size of a silver dollarMaintain adequate nitrogen levels, use deep and infrequent watering

Fall lawn care in Connecticut: September to November

Fall lawn care in Connecticut is like a second spring where all your duties come back to life. Prepare for a colorful season of raking leaves, aerating, and overseeding.

Aerate — mid-September to late-September

Picture of grass aerator on a green lawn

Just like with many lawn maintenance tasks, fall is the ideal time to aerate your Connecticut lawn. If you’ve missed the spring window for aeration or if your lawn had plenty of traffic during the summer, take advantage of the cooler weather and go for an aeration session in September. This will give your grass roots easy access to air, water, and nutrients before winter hits.

Overseed — mid-August to mid-September

This is the best time to overseed your lawn in Connecticut: August 15 to September 15. During this period, soil temperatures are perfect for quick germination. This window also gives the grass time to establish with two growing seasons, fall and spring, before it faces its first summer heat and drought.

Overseeding right after aeration is ideal because the soil has been opened up, and all that thatch buildup has been reduced or removed.

With just four steps to overseed a lawn, you can cover up those bare patches and improve the overall health of your lawn. Choose a suitable grass seed for your lawn’s conditions and remember to keep the seeds moist until they establish.

Fertilize — early September to early November

growth of cool season grass
Infographic by Juan Rodriguez

Fertilizing your lawn during the fall season is considered to be the best time for feeding your grass in Connecticut. The soil and air temperatures are perfect for root growth.

Since you’ve just aerated your lawn, the soil is ready to absorb the nutrients and distribute them to the grass roots. This helps your lawn establish a strong foundation before the winter dormancy period.

When selecting a fertilizer, go for a slow-release granular fertilizer over a liquid variant that will provide a steady supply of nutrients over an extended period. This will minimize the risk of burning your grass and reduce the need for frequent applications.

Leaf removal — October to November

Fall in Connecticut can be a pretty awesome time to witness the beautiful display of colors as leaves change their hue. But those pretty falling leaves can smother your lawn if you’re just looking and not acting. 

To prevent this from happening, keep the best tools to remove leaves from your yard on standby throughout the fall season: a rake, a trusty leaf blower, or a mulch mower. As soon as leaves start to accumulate in thick layers, it’s time for removal. 

Dense piles of leaves can block sunlight, trap moisture, and become a haven for lawn diseases during this wet season. You don’t have to clear out every single leaf, but make sure you never let them suffocate your grass.

Note: In addition to removing leaves yourself, many towns and cities in Connecticut offer leaf collection programs in the fall. Here are a few of them:

  • In Hartford, the Leaf Collection Program allows residents to dispose of leaves at the curb. Residents must put leaves in paper bags or tie brush debris in 6-foot sections for collection.
  • Middletown residents have a Curbside Vacuum Collection program that will begin around November. They must place the leaves in brown paper bags (no plastic) for pickup.
  • Stamford also begins its fall leaf pickup season in November, collecting only loose leaves left curbside.

Final mow — late October to early November

Mowing the grass with a lawn mower in early fall
Adobe Stock

Before you pack away your mower for the winter, it’s best to go in for a final mow before winter. Set your mower height at about a half-inch below your usual grass height to prepare your cool-season grass for winter dormancy.

Mowing your lawn lower prevents matting under the snow cover and reduces the risk of common winter diseases like snow mold.

Winterize your lawn equipment — late fall

Are you done with your lawn care activities for the year? Perfect! Now, it’s time to winterize your equipment and store it away.

We have a guide on how to winterize your lawn equipment, including your mower, leaf blower, and other small gardening tools. This will help increase their lifespan and be ready by next spring.

Also, don’t forget about winterizing your sprinkler system. Freeze damage during Connecticut’s harsh winter months can burst pipes and cause expensive damage.

Winter lawn care in Connecticut: December to February

While lawn care is minimal during this time, there are still some important things to do. From tidying up any missed gardening tools to planning your spring lawn care schedule, the winter season is about closing one year and preparing for the next.

Avoid walking on a snow-covered lawn — all winter

snow on grass in a lawn
Adobe Stock

Snow can create a layer of insulation over your turfgrass, protecting it from freeze-burn during cold spells. However, foot-traffic paths on top of frozen or snowy lawns can cause severe damage, leading to bare and dead patches once the snow melts.

To remove snow safely, use a plastic shovel or a snowblower to prevent scraping the grass. You should spread de-icing products sparingly and only on walkways to minimize any salt damage to your lawn.

Plan for spring — all winter

Once winter begins and your lawn care equipment is neatly stored away, it’s the perfect time to start planning for the upcoming spring. With more downtime in between chores, you can create a game plan based on this year’s experiences. Here are some ideas:

Weed management: If weeds were an issue, plan for some preventative measures like pre-emergent herbicide application. Some types of landscape fabrics can also be beneficial in flower and plant beds to combat weeds.

Lawn customization: Looking to give your lawn some personality? Maybe you need some lawn edging ideas. Don’t know what to do with that unused corner next to the driveway? Why not design a wildflower garden that adds some color and character. Now is the time to brainstorm some ideas.

Pest control: Did you have a pest problem this year? Maybe some grubs nibbled through your lawn, or you saw that Eastern mole tunneling through your lawn. For the coming year, you can try some organic pest control products, trap systems, or even beneficial insects and animals to get your pest problem in check.

Sit back and relax — all winter

Let your hard work pay off as Connecticut’s winter blankets your yard with snow. As long as your fall duties have been done on schedule, it’s officially time for a break. 

But beware, if you’re one of the unlucky ones living in the worst cities for grass allergies like New Haven, Bridgeport, or Hartford, you might want to keep that cocoa close and the tissues closer in the spring.

So enjoy the winter respite while you can, because once that snow melts, it’s time to stock up on antihistamines and prepare for the sneezy, itchy-eyed battle against the dreaded grass pollen.

FAQ About Connecticut Lawn Care

What is the best soil for a new lawn in Connecticut?

Of all the different soil types, loam soil is considered to be the best type for growing grass and plants. It’s a balanced mixture of sand, silt, and clay that offers quite a few benefits. It provides good drainage, preventing waterlogging, and allows grass roots to easily get nutrients and water because it has a well-aerated structure.

How can I revive areas of my lawn damaged by road salt over the winter?

If road salt has damaged your lawn over the winter, you can revive those brown patches. Start by flushing the affected areas thoroughly with water. This can help dilute the salinity levels in the soil. 

Do this over several days to gradually rinse away as much of the salt as possible without over-watering in a single go. Once that’s done, you can apply gypsum (calcium sulfate) to further lower the soil salinity level.

What are signs that my lawn needs lime to correct soil acidity in Connecticut?

Persistent moss growth, yellowing grass, and poor lawn density and vigor can all indicate that your lawn’s soil is too acidic and needs lime to correct the pH balance. However, these symptoms can also relate to other imbalances or deficiencies in the soil.

Professional help: the final step

If all this talk of lawn care makes you a bit overwhelmed, remember that there’s always a pro nearby ready to help you out. Sure, some of us love DIYing our way through lawn care, but seeking professional advice or services can save time, effort, and maybe even some rookie mistakes.

We can help you connect with experienced lawn care pros in Connecticut who are ready to take the guesswork out of your monthly lawn care schedule.

Main Image Credit: CLK Hatcher | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.0 created using Infogram

Adrian Nita

Adrian is a former marine navigation officer turned writer with more than four years of experience in the field. He loves writing about anything and everything related to lawn care and gardening. When he's not writing, you can find him working in his yard, constantly testing new lawn care techniques and products.