Spring is the time give some extra care to your lawn if you want a lush green lawn this summer. The following is a list of tasks to prepare you lawn in the springtime…
First Know If You Have Cool or Warm Season Grasses
Cool-season grass species include creeping bentgrass, fine fescue, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, annual rye grass, and perennial rye grass. These grasses undergo a moderate growth spurt in the spring but peak growing season is in the fall. Cool-season grasses have adapted to grow well in areas of the country that experience tremendous temperature fluctuations… cold, freezing winters and hot, dry summers.
Warm-season grasses include bermudagrass, St. Augustine grass, centipede grass, zoysia grass, bahia grass, and carpet grass. They are often called southern grasses because they grow best in hot summer areas and lack the winter hardiness of the cool-season grasses. Warm-season varieties do well in the heat of the summer and remain dormant throughout the winter months.
Give Your Grass Some Time To Reawaken
Spring is one of the few times many of us look forward to chores. From sweeping off the porch to hosing down the deck to doing heavy yard work. Resist the heavy yard work until the soil has had time to dry out and your lawn has had time to reawaken. Starting too early can damage new shoots or compact the wet soil.
Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth. Cut back spent perennials and pull up old annuals if you didn’t get around to it last fall. Give the lawn a thorough, deep raking to remove thatch or dead grass and detect dead spots or areas where the soil may have become compacted.
Fertilize Your Lawn
With cool-season grass the best time to fertilize your lawn is in the fall. If you skipped this step last fall or your lawn is in bad shape when the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit add fertilizer. You’ll know when the soil warms up to 55 because the lilacs begin to blossom and the grass starts growing. For warm-season grasses, apply fertilizer once active growth begins in mid to late spring.
Weed Control Is Essential
There is a way to eliminate weeds before they grow, a spring pre-emergent herbicide treatment. A pre-emergent needs to be applied to your yard to prevent an infestation of weeds. Early spring is a great time to get a handle on weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides need to be applied before weed seeds germinate, typically in the spring. Pre-emergents should also be applied before you sow grass seed. If a pre-emergent herbicide is being a applied that will kill weedy grasses, then the sowing of your lawn seed needs to be delayed.
Cool-season grass should be seeded in the fall when possible but warm-season grass can be planted once the outdoor temperature reaches the 70’s and danger of frost has passed. Bare patches are unhealthy and unsightly and can be eliminated by overseeding your lawn.
Prepare Garden Beds
Before you plod out to your garden, do what the old gardeners always did and pick up a handful of the earth. If it can be squeezed into a ball easily and you’re able to mold it like Play-Doh, it is still far too wet. After the last frost and the soil is workable prepare your garden beds. Loosen the soil if it has compacted during the winter months. Loosen the soil using a tiller or sharp spade Add some compost or nutrients. Now it is time to add annuals and then add fresh mulch and enjoy your garden.
A Few Additional Tips
- Get your home ready for great curb appeal. Spring is the time of renewal and a great time to get your home and yard ready for the warm days of summer.
- Set the more height to no more than one-third of the grass blade and begin mowing once growth has occurred.
- If you did not prune in the winter, trim trees and bushes before buds begin
- Aim for about one-inch of water per week
- Pest control should start in the spring. Common signs that pests have invaded your turf include brown spots, dead and dying grass patches, wilting blades, bite marks on grass, and, of course, insects in the grass or turf layer.
- Aeration should be performed during the peak growing season. For cool-season grasses do this in the fall and with warm season-grasses aerate in the early summer.
About Green & Grow
Green & Grow is a full service lawn care company specializing in lawn mowing, fertilization & weed control, aeration & seeding, insect control, and more!
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