First the bad news: if you neglect spring lawn care (and related concerns about your mower), you could end up paying for it the rest of the year. Now the good news: the chores required of you in spring don’t entail nearly the amount of work that you’ll have to invest in mowing alone throughout the summer months.
In fact, you might need to implement only about half of the following ten tips for spring lawn care, depending upon your unique circumstances. Furthermore, there are a few instances below that the task in question is better performed as part of your fall lawn care if you can wait that long.
Raking will be your first task of spring lawn care. You’re likely saying, “But we already raked leaves in the fall!” Sorry, but raking is for more than just removing leaves: it’s for controlling thatch, too. A thatch build-up of more than 1/2 inch is considered excessive.
Thatch is the reason why it’s recommended that, when you rake leaves in the fall, you make an effort to rake deeply. Don’t just skim the surface so as merely to remove the leaves. A deep raking will remove thatch, too, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone. Even if you followed this advice in fall, a spring raking is still recommended as it will remove grass blades that died over the winter — dead blades that are just waiting to become thatch.
But there’s often another good reason for a spring raking. As you survey your lawn in spring, see if there are any matted patches, in which the grass blades are all stuck together. This can be caused by a disease known as “snow mold.” New grass may have difficulty penetrating these matted patches. But raking will be sufficient to solve this problem.
When you perform any of these spring lawn care tasks will depend upon the climate of your region. But Mother Nature provides obvious cues in some cases. For instance, when you’re pretty sure the snow season (if you have one) is over in your region, begin raking. Applying pre-emergent herbicides (see Tip #6) should be done sometime between the time the local forsythia bushes stop blooming and the time the local lilac bushes begin blooming.
Check for Compaction
If your lawn is subject to high levels of traffic year after year, it may eventually start to show signs of decline. In such cases, your lawn is probably suffering from compacted soil. For instance, the presence of moss signals compaction (among other things). You can get rid of it, but successful eradication begins with the recognition that moss shouldn’t be treated as “just another weed.”
Lawn aeration is the remedy for compaction. The good news is that lawn aerators can be rented at your local rental center. The bad news is that the experts recommend postponing lawn aeration until fall. But if during your “spring lawn checkup,” you become aware of compaction, at least you can plan on setting aside some time in the fall to take care of it.
Besides compaction, the presence of moss plants also signals acidity. But grass likes a neutral pH. You can solve this problem by liming your soil. But don’t expect a quick fix: the effects of liming are slow to take place.
But first, send a soil sample to your local county extension to determine the extent of your soil’s acidity. The county extension will also be able to advise you on how much lime per square foot you’ll need. Apply the lime using a fertilizer spreader.
But if your lawn has been doing fine and shows no signs of suffering from acidity, don’t apply lime. Liming is only a corrective measure, not a preventive measure. A soil that is too alkaline will also cause your lawn problems, so too much lime is as bad as not enough.
Is your lawn riddled with bare patches due to dog spots, heavy traffic, or neglect? If so, you may need to apply grass seed to fill in those bare patches. This solution is known as “overseeding lawns.” Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer when you overseed. Five weeks after the grass germinates, apply quick-release nitrogen fertilizer.
If you are like most people, you’re busy and do not have time to get outside and take care of your lawn and the maintenance that it requires, then contact Deputy Tree Service today!