Top 6 Spring Lawn Care Tips
As the winter season is finally coming to a close, it is time to start giving your spring lawn the attention it needs.
If you invest the time in your lawn now to prepare it for peak growing season, the better off your lawn will be. A well-groomed spring lawn will give you a healthy, thick, green grass that your neighbors will envy. However, if you do not provide your spring lawn the TLC it needs, you will struggle maintaining healthy growth throughout the growing season.
Here are 6 tips to help you start your spring lawn care:
1. Preparation – Raking
During winter months when snow falls, and the freeze sets in, grass will become dormant. During this time, grass will lay flat to protect its roots from the cold. When snow falls, it packs the already bent grass down and gives it that flat, matted look. Once the snow melts and spring is knocking on the door, it is time to prepare your lawn for warmer weather. The best way to do this is with a light raking.
When your grass has thawed, and the weather has been above 40-degrees for a few days in a row, you can start some light raking. The main thing you'll need to keep in mind when raking your grass is not to be too aggressive. You want to lightly rake your lawn to wake it up, allow it to breathe, and give the sunlight more access to the roots.
2. Pre-Emergent Weed Control
Weeds are a problem in every lawn, but if you put down the right pre-emergent early in the spring, you should be able to not allow the weeds to germinate. No matter what climate you live in weed control is an issue. However, one of the largest challenges is fighting off weeds that take root earlier in the spring than grasses do. There are two ways to fight this: pre-emergent weed control and fall seeding.
Fall seeding will allow the grass to establish itself so there’s less room for the weeds grow and a pre-emergent will fight to prevent weeds from taking root.
3. Know Your Grass Types
Your climate will determine what you will need to do to stimulate your grass type.
So, do you have cool-season grasses or warm-season grasses? As the names imply, cool-season grasses typically grow in cooler climates like the Northern states, while warm-season grasses grow in warmer climates like the Southern states. There are also transitional grasses that are mainly a combination of both cool and warm-season grass depending on where in the middle you fall.
Cool-season grasses (Northern) include Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Fine and Tall Fescue.
Warm-season grasses (Southern) include Bermuda, St. Augustine, Centipede, and Zoysia.
The key to successful fertilization is knowing what types of grass you have and being conscious of the weather.
Before you start to fertilize your lawn, make sure that the ground isn’t frozen. If you try to fertilize your lawn when the ground is still frozen, the fertilizer won’t work, and you will waste time, money and potential harm the environment if the fertilizer washes into water supplies.
Also, make sure you are using the proper spreader. If your spreader does a poor job or putting the fertilizer down, you may end up with strips or even brown spots.
To really stimulate your spring lawn to grow, you should be mowing it every 3-5 days depending on it's growth rate. By mowing if more often you will force the grass into a survival mode that tells it to grow faster and thicker because it’s being damaged more often by its environment, i.e., your mower. Basically, you’re using the grass’s natural survival mode to grow a thicker lawn.
Mow your lawn high (4 inches) and never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Also make sure your mower is tuned up and blades are sharp.
6. Soil Test
Start out the spring season by testing your soil to help determine what your macro and micro nutrients your lawn needs. Testing is quite easy if you get your own home soil testing kit, but you can also easily find a company that you can ship a sample off to.
The test will tell you if your lawn needs nitrogen, lime, and where your soil pH stands. The results will help you determine the best plan to follow.
Springtime is prime time to work on your lawn. A well-loved spring lawn will be a beautiful summer lawn. So, get outside, enjoy the weather, and create a beautiful lawn!