Spring time is when the grass begins to turn green, birds begin to chirp and the kids want to go play outside. Spring lawn care tips can kick start the growing process by providing the grass with the nutrients it needs to get ready for the long, summer months ahead. With proper maintenance, a lawn can withstand extreme temperatures, constant foot traffic as well as anything else a family can throw at it.
Proper Lawn Care Tips
- Water – When transitioning from cooler temperatures to longer, drier days, watering the lawn can give it the extra push it needs to green up. Many grasses go dormant in the winter months and all growth stops. Reintroducing water on a regular basis along with the warmth of the longer days, will give the grass a head start on turning green and beginning its spring growth cycle.
- Remove thatch – Thatch can build up near the ground, causing dark patches of dead grass. Each time the yard is mowed, it is wise to rake or bag the clippings to prevent thatch from building up and damaging the lawn’s root bed. Always check the lawn for thatch buildup. While small amounts are acceptable, allowing it to build up can cause dark spots. Thatch can kill grass if allowed to remain in one place for lengthy periods of time.
- Reseed bare spots – If bare spots begin to appear, spread grass seed thoroughly over the area and cover with straw. Water often until sprouts of grass can be seen. Excessive amounts of thatch that is left to accumulate close to the ground can kill of shoots of new grass and damage older grass.
- Use organic fertilizers – Organic fertilizers are a mixture of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. When mixed together in the right amounts, they can give grass a boost, allowing it to grow and thicken naturally. Applying fertilizer regularly will ensure thick growth as well as a deep, vibrant green color. Read the package directions carefully. Even organic fertilizers can burn young plants if too much is applied at one time.
- Mow and trim regularly – Mow and trim the lawn regularly. The rule of thumb for most yards is to keep the grass around 2 inches high. This provides a thick, full covering, while still letting in the sunshine and allowing the water to reach the root bed. A 2-inch depth also turns the grass into a cushion that has enough strength to bounce back after children and adults walk over it. Whenever the lawn is mowed and trimmed, it’s also a good idea to rake up the majority of the grass clippings. This reduces thatch buildup and makes the lawn look freshly groomed.
- Use hardy grass varieties – Depending on what part of the country a person lives in will determine what type of grass seed that will be purchased to maintain the lawn. Cool season grasses are extremely hardy. While they still go dormant in the winter months, the cool air offers less risk of damage. Other breeds developed for warmer climates will not do well in colder climates. Talk to a local greenhouse before purchasing grass seed to fill in dark areas or spots of dead grass.
- Keep it clean– Pick up anything that falls on the lawn. Items such as lawn furniture,plant pots or lawn toys that have set on the lawn during the winter should b moved so that new grass can be planted. When grass is dormant, things can set on it without doing much damage. During the spring months, however, the grass is beginning to take on new life and areas that are covered by debris or furniture can quickly die. By picking up anything that rests directly on the grass and making sure adequate amounts of water and fertilizer are provided, the grass will be allowed to rejuvenate itself and begin the spring growing cycle.
Maintaining a lawn also means protecting it from insects, parasites and other pests that can harm it. If you have pets, make sure to pick up their “deposits” and dispose of them properly. While this may sound a little extreme, allowing animal feces to set on a lawn for long periods of time can kill the grass and cause discoloration or large dead areas that must be reseeded.
Don’t forget that all grass needs sunlight. Remove anything that blocks the sun from shining down on the lawn. Most of the hardiest breeds of grass require an abundance of sunlight to maintain growth and retain their deep, green color. On sunny days, remember to water the lawn in the evening, preferably after 6 p.m. This prevents water from evaporating before the grass can take what it needs. It also reduces the risk of damaging the grass. Fertilizing can be performed in the evening as well.