Spring Lawn Care
The effort you put into preparing your lawn early will pay off in many ways throughout the growing season. Spring lawn care can make the difference between a lush green carpet of grass and a spotty, struggling expanse that you will work at all summer.
Lawns tend to be at their worst in the spring. The aftermath of winter can be very disconcerting. Often there are puddles throughout your lawn, leaving messy, uneven places from areas with poor drainage. Winter tufts that have invaded from seeds picked up by the wind and scattered show up everywhere. Crab grass is beginning to take hold and the writing is on the wall. This is the time to tackle it and get it under control with some simple steps. The rewards will be well worth it. Invest the effort now and you can look forward to a beautiful green view that shows off your home throughout the growing season.
You will want to start by raking the surface clean of all dead material. You can use a wire rake or a scarifying machine. Much of what you do in Spring lawn care is similar to what you do in the fall except that you have the aftermath of water, ice and snow.
Scarifying takes out all the dead material You need to be careful not to overdo if you are raking so as not to damage any new growth or roots. When there is still a lot of moisture in the ground the rake can penetrate deeper, so you need to be sure you are only touching the surface and removing the overgrowth and surface material. A light hand is better at this time than a heavy digging action. You want to be sure you have freed all the grass so the air and sun can penetrate it. You will need to find a balance in the pressure you use.
After scarifying you will want to mow the lawn in different directions for the best affect. It is important to give attention to mowing as soon as possible. Don’t let the grass get too long and then try to mow it down to the lowest level. This will create a messy result and the grass will take a long time to recover. It is better to set the mower to a level that leaves the grass a little long and then mow again in a week if there has been a sunny growing period. Check areas where there have been freezes in shaded places as water may still be standing. Avoid mowing those areas until they have had some time to absorb the water.
As soon as possible add some gypsum to areas that drain poorly. This will open up the soil and aerate the area so water can be absorbed. If you have a pool in your lawn rather than a puddle, you will want to consider raising the soil level and re-sodding once the soil is no longer at a soggy stage. Be sure seeding or sodding can be done without danger from frost.
You will want to spray or spread a crab grass preventer (Halts) to control crab grass. Do this at the appropriate time for your area. Many invasive species may not always be obvious, so don’t assume there isn’t a problem. Check your yard carefully over a period of weeks to watch for unusual growth.
Get an early start on your spring lawn care and you will have more time to enjoy a beautiful yard with your iced drinks come summer.