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Part Of The American Meadows Clover & Grass Learning Center


Want to help your lawn continue to grow lush and healthy? These are the best practices for a low-maintenance lawn.  This lawn care guide will cover tips for long-term care of grass lawns, clover lawns, and flowering alternative lawn mixes. 

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How To Choose Grass & Lawn Seeds  |  How To Grow Clover, Grass & Lawn Seeds

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What To Expect At The End Of The Growing Season

What to expect at the end of the season depends on the type of lawn you’re growing.

Perennials vs. Annuals

Perennial clovers, grasses, and wildflowers are the most popular choices for lawns, because they grow back year after year from their established root system. In winter, perennial grasses and clovers will go dormant. Over the winter months, Fescues and Perennial Rye Grasses are known for keeping their green hue, while other grasses may turn to a tawny tan or gold color. Clovers may stay green over the winter in warmer to mild climates, and may die back completely in cold winter climates. 

Sometimes, annual grasses are planted to give a lawn a boost in its first year, while perennial grasses, clovers, or wildflowers are established. If you’ve planted annuals, remember that they have a one-year lifecycle, and will die at the end of the season. 


Warm Season Grasses vs. Cool Season Grasses

The lifecycle of grasses will vary slightly if they are warm season or cool season grass. Grasses will grow most vigorously in their preferred temperature range. When the temperatures are higher than their preferred range in the peak of summer, or lower than their preferred range in spring, fall, and winter, grass will slow growth or go dormant. 

Grass Type Preferred Best Growing Temperatures Species
Warm Season Grass 75-90°F Blue Grama Grass, Switchgrass, Buffalo Grass, Little Bluestem Grass
Cool Season Grass 60-75°F Fine Fescue Grass, Rye Grass, Timothy Grass, Orchard Grass, Ricegrass
Clover & Clover Lawn Mixes 60-85°F White Clover, Microclover, Microclover & No Mow Lawn Mix

End Of Season Seeding

Did your lawn have some patches during the growing season - perhaps from drought, pets, or heavy foot traffic? If you grow clover or cool season grasses, you can overseed your lawn in fall to fill it in. Plant 4-6 weeks before your first frost date so seedlings have time to establish before winter.

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To Mow Or Not To Mow Your Lawn

As colder temperatures creep in, the growth of your lawn will slow down. 

If you are growing a no-mow lawn mix, that’s great - it’s hard to be more low maintenance than that! 

If you do mow your lawn:

  • Decrease your mowing frequency at the end of the season as growth slows down.
  • Be careful not to mow too low or too often at the end of the season – keeping your grass on the taller side over winter will help insulate healthy roots and keep your lawn more lush and green.
  • For insulation: leaving your lawn taller over the winter will help insulate and protect the crown of perennial plants, and help protect root systems from the harshest winter weather. 
  • Save time, money, and resources: skipping mowing removes one more list from your to-do list, and you’ll save fuel and reduce pollution by not using motor-powered mowing tools. 

Over the winter, while your lawn is dormant, no mowing is needed.  

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Lawn Dormancy & Overwintering

To protect your lawn while it’s dormant, avoid leaving thick layers of leaves over the winter. Thick layers of leaves (more than a few inches thick) can block airflow and kill off plants beneath them. However, leaves can add valuable nutrients to your soil or compost, and they provide overwintering habitat for pollinators - so leaving some leaves in your yard is a good thing! Leaves can be moved to compost, or piled at the edges of your yard, or piled beneath trees.

If your lawn borders a sidewalk, keep the sidewalks clear of snow, so people don’t walk on your snow-covered lawn, which can damage grass.

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What To Do When Your Lawn Grows Back

In early spring, after the snow has melted, lawn care begins again. As winter subsides, your lawn might look a bit brown and flimsy, but as it soaks up the sun and temperatures warm, it will start to perk back up. 

Clover is one of the first plants to turn green and start growing in early spring. For grasses, when the weather has warmed up to its preferred temperature, it will start to grow back with vigor. See the Warm Season/Cool Season chart above for an idea of the temperatures needed for your lawn to start growing and “green up” in spring.

When growth begins, lightly rake your lawn to help remove dead leaves and foliage, giving new growth more light and airflow. 

If you see bare patches in winter or early spring — don’t panic! If you grow clover in your lawn, it spreads quickly, and will fill out nicely by mid-spring.

Also, in spring you can overseed your lawn to create a thicker, softer surface and to fill in any patches. Spring is a good time to seed both cool season and warm season grasses. 

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Long-Term Lawn Care

Traditional lawn care regimens recommend frequent mowing, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides – but at American Meadows, we want to help you make your yard better. With our easy to grow lawn mixes and this helpful guide, you can create a lawn that’s better for you, better for your community, and better for our world. Follow these long term lawn care guidelines for a healthier, low-maintenance lawn. 


  • Our popular low-growing grass mixes, including Microclover, No Mow Lawn Seed Mixes, and Low Work & Water Grass, are all designed to help you save time and resources by mowing less.
  • Mowing 3-4 inches high is best. Keeping your grass on the taller side, rather than scalping it to less than 3 inches tall, has many benefits.
  • This will help reduce weeds by shading out weed seedlings, reduce the need to water by keeping the soil cool and moist, and keep your lawn more lush and green for a softer, more attractive yard.

Tips For Seasonal Care

  • Early spring lawn care: Rake to clear leaves and dead grass. Be on the lookout for new growth. If you have clover in your yard, these will provide an important early season food source for pollinators who are waking up from hibernation.
  • Late spring lawn care: You’ll start to see more vigorous growth, especially for cool season grasses. You can begin mowing, as needed. 
  • Summer lawn care: As temperatures rise, you’ll start to see more vigorous growth of warm season grasses; mow and water as needed. On the other hand, cool season grasses may slow down, or in extreme heat, they may go dormant. Mow and water only as needed. 

Aerating Lawns

Aerating a grass lawn each year will help maintain your soil and lawn health if you have a high-traffic yard, clay soil, thinning grass, or compacted soil. Always water your lawn after aeration to prevent it from drying out. The best time to aerate your lawn is during its peak growing season, when it’s growing most vigorously. Do not aerate your lawn while dormant.  

Clover lawns do not require aeration. One more reason to grow a low-maintenance clover lawn!

Fertilizing & Overseeding

It’s possible to have a lush, green lawn that fertilizes itself, and prevents weeds and pests from taking up residence. How do you get this miracle lawn? It’s not magic, it’s clover! Overseeding your lawn with nitrogen-fixing, pest-resistant clover seeds is an easy way to naturally enhace the long term health and durability of your lawn, without relying on chemical fertilizers.

Weeding & Pest Control

  • For a better yard and a healthy outdoor space, look for natural solutions such as vinegar, dish soap, and salt, or remove them with hand tools.
  • Chemical weed killers and pesticides are harmful to people, pets, wildlife, and waterways, especially when used frequently, so avoid them or use them with caution.
  • Many common yard “weeds” can actually provide a food source for pollinators. Clovers, Violets, and native Wild Strawberry are not weeds - they can be very valuable in contributing to the biodiversity of plants and beneficial bugs in your yard.

Expert Tips For Weeding:

  • Have fun with weeding! Bring a friend and a glass of wine so you can Snip n' Sip your way through the wildflowers. While you’re at it, you can cut some stems for a bouquet, too.
  • Research and learn about your local weeds at every stage of growth. Getting to know what they look like as seedlings, adolescent, and adult plants will make it easier to spot them within your plantings.
  • Try using a plant identification app to learn more about the wildflowers and plants growing in your yard and your neighborhood.

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