Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care Does it really work?

You want to grow a healthy, green, and lush lawn that’s free from weeds and healthy enough to survive the winter weather.

There are lots of programs, fertilization choices, and lawn care approach on the market, but one of the more popular is the Scotts 4 Step lawn care program. 

Scotts Lawn Service is taking advantage of your desire to have a simple program that make it easy to take care of your yard. 

The program is well known these days however, in our opinion, it fails to deal with some of the most important issues on lawn care.

The approach is inadequate. It is not even near to what your yard requires. 

Scott Lawn Care

What’s Missing within The Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care Program

The program is intended to feed your grass, kill weeds, keeping your yard looking healthy and green all year long.

It’s a 4 step approach that uses different products to do the trick.  But….

To give you an idea of what’s missing, we’ll explain the steps and fill in the absent elements. 

  1. First, the timeline. Scott is making an attempt to modify the program by using a holiday but Easter date changes every year.
  2. The product is a granular weed control product and is less effective than liquid weed control products.
  3. Grub control should be included in any lawn care program. As well as special treatments for surface-feeding insects and similar threats. One thing Scotts doesn’t.
  4. Scotts Lawn Care doesn’t treat weeds that require more than one application. From step one through step four, the program is difficult to handle.
  5. From several views and in line with several experts, the Scotts 4 step program is incomplete and not appropriate for all different types of grasses.

What are you able to do? Read below….

Step 1: Crabgrass Preventer + Lawn Food

First, the timeline could be a problem. Scott is trying to simplify the program using a holiday, however, the date of Easter changes. 

The time when you add preventer down is significant for its success. What is important is the ground temperatures and it varies as the weather changes from Winter to Spring. 

The product must be applied before crabgrass seeds start germinating. It works by creating a barrier that prevents crabgrass weeds from growing. 

Another issue is that one application isn’t enough to stop crabgrass or any other type of weed that is invasive and persistent. 

Here at Green Garden Landscaping, our applications include crabgrass pre-emergent, provided twice during the springtime to avoid the product breakdown by rain.

This way we make sure that we are doing everything we can to prevent crabgrass or other stubborn weed. 

Step 2: Weed Control + Fertilizer

The main drawback of this step is that the product required is a granular weed control product and not as effective as a liquid weed control product used by professionals. 

With Scott’s product, the area must be wet, applied on a sunny day when rain is not expected for 24 hours. 

If you merely have your weekends to take care of your yard, finding the perfect day may be a problem. 

Even when you apply the product under perfect conditions you should be aware that store-bought products are 40% effective as compared to professional weed control products. 

Step 3: Lawn Food with 7% Iron

During the Summer, your lawn needs so much more than lawn food. At this time your lawn care treatment should be offensive on crabgrass and summer annual weeds which need specialized treatments. 

Also, your lawn care program should include grub management and special applications for surface-feeding insects which can be devastating for your lawn if not handle on time. 

Scotts 4-step lawn care program never addresses lawn insects, which are a serious lawn threat. 

Green Garden Landscaping provides grub control services. All our products are organic and pet/human safe. They are an environmentally sound, long-term, and sustainable approach to control grub and lawn insects. 

Step 4: Fall Lawn Food

The problem with this step is that it doesn’t address weeds that ought to be treated once more. 

From step 1 through step 4, Scott’s program is extremely incomplete. It is missing a lot of points, including soil health which is the key to a green and beautiful lawn. 

In theory, this 4-step program sounds goods. Scotts did everything to simplify a full year lawn care in “simple” steps and it doesn’t work that way. Several elements and services are missing and when you start adding them in, you will realize that the program is not that simple or cost-effective. 

Only 1 bag is $110 on Amazon (assuming you don’t need more than one bag per step) and if you have a large property, you will need more than one. You will also need a spreader, and a cheap one can cost from $60 to $90. 

So you have to ask yourself if the money spent on it would really give you the expected results.

Instead, follow these steps….

7 Steps to Keep a Healthy, Green, and Weed-Free Lawn 

7 Step lawn program

#1. Remove Existing Weeds

Weeds are inevitable. Luckily, there are ways to eliminate them. 

Pull up weeds by hand or with a handheld weeder. If the weeds are invading your lawn, you can use glyphosate herbicide for direct application or apply a weed-and-feed product to your entire lawn. When applying, follow the manufacturer’s application instructions. Remember that these products are effective only when the weeds are identified and the product is applied at the right time. 

Attack weeds during early Spring or Summer before they can develop deep root systems or reproduce. Different weeds need to be dealt with using different treatments or chemicals. 

The best way to eradicate crabgrass and other grassy weeds is with pre-emergent applications. Broadleaf weeds need to be attacked while they are actively growing. Dandelion killers work by growing the plant to death. 

#2. De-thatch The Lawn

Thatch is a tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems, leaves, and roots that accumulates between the layer of actively growing grass and the soil underneath. Thatch is a normal component of an actively growing turfgrass, and as long as it is not too thick, it can increase the resilience of the turf to heavy traffic. Thatch develops more readily on high-maintenance lawns than on low-maintenance lawns.- University of Massachusetts

If you notice a layer of thatch, use a power dethatcher or thatching rake to get rid of the thatch. 

Dethatch cool-season grasses during late Summer or early Fall. Warm-Season Grasses should be detached after the Sping/Green up. Never dethatch when your lawn is stressed or dormant because the damage will be beyond repair.

Your lawn won’t look pretty after removing thatch, but don’t worry, it will recover in 3-4 weeks. When dethatch is done, it is the perfect time to overseed and get it back on track for green and lush grass. 

#3. Aerate Your Lawn

Inspect your lawn for compaction issues. The simplest way to do it is to dig a square-foot section and examine the grassroots. If the roots don’t extend deeper than two inches, your lawn needs to be aerated. The best time to aerate is during the time your grass reach their time for natural growth. For cool-season grasses, it would be early Spring or Fall are the best times for aerating. For warm-season grasses, the best time to aerate is early Summer. 

One or 2 days prior to aeration, you need to water your lawn for at least 20 minutes. 

Our company provides mechanical and liquid aeration to help control thatch, create growth pockets for new roots, improve soil structure, and creates access for fertilizer to spread to your lawn. 

Once a year aeration is recommended for all lawns, especially those that need to be thickened or those with thatch buildup. 

#4. Apply Grass Seeds

During the early Fall or Spring, you can overseed cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue or Rye.

Warm-season lawns like Zoysia grass or Bermuda grass in early Summer.  You can use a broadcast seed spreader and don’t forget to keep the seed moist to help it grow. 

#5 Mow Appropriately 

A healthy yard is best ready to withstand lawn diseases and weeds than a neglected one. Remove only one-third off the top of the grass. 

For cool-season grasses, cut only 1-½ inches cutting height for the first mowing to remove dead grass and allow sunlight to reach the grass plants. 

In the Summer months, raise the blade to 2 or more inches.

For warm-season grasses, these heights should be about ½ inches lower. 

To adjust the blade height, measure from the surface to the mower deck’s bottom and then add 1.4 inches. (blades sit ¼ inches above the bottom of the deck). 

Change your mowing pattern by mowing at a 45-or-90-degree angle. This helps the grass grow upright and prevent soil compaction.

And always cut your grass using a sharp blade. 

#6. Water and Feed Grass

During the Summer months, you need to water the grass. Keeping your lawn watered and fertilized will assure its health and improves its appearance. 

Grass need about one inch of water per week, 30 min per day should keep your lawn in good condition. 

The experts advise that you should fertilize at least three-four times a year. Use a slow-release fertilizer since the nitrogen breaks down slowly but efficiently to provide your turf with constant feeding. 

Don’t apply fertilizer when temperature arises because it may burn your lawn. All three numbers on the fertilizer package should be the same. The first one represents the amount of nitrogen, the second represents the amount of phosphorus, and the third represents the amount of potassium. 

Here at Green Garden Landscaping, our lawn fertilizer program starts with early spring fertilizer application. We use a slow-release fertilizer to stop excessive weed growth. At the beginning of Summer, we use a balanced fertilizer to promote a healthy green. When the temperatures are high, we use a non-burning fertilizer and targeted broadleaf weed control. 

In early fall, we use a balanced fertilizer to encourage healthy root development. When the temperatures start decreasing, we use a heavy rate of balanced fertilizer to help develop a strong root system. And finally, when soil temperatures fall below 43ºF, a special, winterize fertilizer will be applied to promote a more disease-resistant lawn.