Your Good Maintenance

Caring for your Upstate, SC Landscape

A wide variety of grass and plants will thrive here in the Upstate of South Carolina. What’s beneficial to one type of grass can often be detrimental to another. There are a lot of misconceptions about topics like watering and mowing, pruning and planting. The professionals at Greenleaf Lawncare are here to help cut through the noise, giving you real, practical advice for your landscape. While these general practices apply most of the time we recognize that every landscape is different. Feel free to call if you have more specific questions or would like to schedule a free appointment to meet with one of our professionals on your property to address specific concerns.


Listed below are the main grass types here in the Upstate of South Carolina and the recommended mowing height for each. As a general rule mow often enough so you won’t remove more than 1/3 of the grass each time. We encourage mulching instead of bagging. Not only is it time saving and easier, it also refeeds your lawn with nutrient rich clippings. Only bag clippings if you’re going to mow off more than 1/3 of the plant, too many clippings will encourage thatch.

Hybrid Bermuda grass: ¾” – 1 ½”
Common Bermuda grass: 1”- 2”
Zoysia grass: ¾” – 1 ½”
Centipede grass: ¾” – 1 ½”
St. Augustine grass: 2”-3”
Tall Fescue grass: 3”-4”


Watering has been a confusing topic since there have been sprinklers. While necessary to maintain a beautiful landscape (when it doesn’t rain) too much can often be costly and devastating. Of course watering needs are going to be different during establishment of grass or plants. Once established try to find the minimum amount of irrigation your landscape needs to thrive. As a rule, long infrequent soakings are preferable to short frequent watering. Allow your yard to drain as many days as possible between watering. Start by watering once every 10-14 days during cooler weather (below 85 ) and only if it doesn’t rain. As temperatures stay above 85, increase frequency but never more than 2 or 3 times per week. Areas of open yard generally need 60 minutes of watering per section. Closed areas or low lying areas may need less, use common sense. Areas that stay constantly wet from other sources don’t need watering at all.

It should be noted that Tall Fescue grass, while remaining somewhat green, will shut down during the hottest part of our Upstate, SC summers. More water is usually not the answer as this encourages Brown Patch disease. Water infrequently until September then core aerate and over seed to repair damage done by summer heat and stress.

Trees and woody ornamentals rarely need irrigation once established. Their roots grow far and deep. Often, too much irrigation encourages diseases and insect infestations that may require expensive remedy or even replacement.


As a general rule shrub pruning can be done on an as needed basis. Try not to prune more than 1/3 of the plant at any one time to avoid injuring the plant. If a severe pruning is needed try to do it during mild temperatures of spring or fall and supplement with a feeding to encourage healthy new growth. Be aware that pruning plants at the wrong time can influence flowering. For example, azalea’s should be pruned after they bloom.


Planting ornamental trees and shrubs is best done in the spring and fall. This time of year is less stressful on the plants and they’ll begin to root faster. Preparing the soil is essential to the long term health of your plants. A good rule of thumb is to dig a $10 hole for a $1 plant. Don’t use a post hole digger to try to plant in the clay soils of the Upstate, SC and incorporate some potting soil or compost. Always score the root ball of the plants before planting to prevent girdling roots.

Grass planting depends on the type of grass you want. Cool season grasses like Tall Fescue should be seeded or sodded in the fall. It can also be done in the spring but be careful not to apply pre-emergents to soon afterward to prevent crabgrass as these herbicides can injure or kill new seedlings. Warm season grasses like Bermuda or Zoysia should be planted in the heat of summer, generally May-August. Warm soil is critical for good germination and root development. Also, don’t apply spring crabgrass preventer as it will hinder or stop seed germination in summer.

Greenleaf Lawncare are here to help with advice on any of your landscape needs. Together with our programs you can Proper installation and maintenance are critical to a beautiful landscape. The professionals at achieve a beautiful landscape to be enjoyed for years to come!