5 Things Your Lawn Needs This Spring

Ever wonder why a neighbor down the street has a lawn straight out of a magazine, yet your lawn looks as if it has simply given up? A picturesque lawn isn’t created by accident, and that’s a good thing.

When given the proper attention and care, any lawn can be beautiful, lush, and healthy. It just takes some gumption, commitment, and discipline. And it starts in the spring. Let’s take a look at 5 things your lawn needs this spring to become a lawn you can be proud to call your own. Life’s too short to be jealous of your neighbors.

Debris Removal

The winter thaw is an exciting time for all of us. Unfortunately, it’s not going take the high road and reveal a nice, clean lawn.

While forgotten leaves and garbage are the obvious and easiest targets, it’s what was happening underneath the snow, all winter, that requires some real attention.

Using the snow as insulation and grass roots as food, voles are extremely active rodents during the winter months. This feasting leave behind tunnels and piles of dead grass clippings. And because the snow keeps it packed down, it can be hard to get a real idea of the true extent of the damage.

If you notice any of this vole damage on your lawn, we recommend taking the time to rake the entire lawn and clear away all areas of dead grass, leaves, and other debris. Otherwise, these dead organics will build up year and year and suffocate your lawn.

Repair Bare

For cool-season lawns, such as the ones in our area, spring is a great time to patch up any bare or straggly areas.

While seeding is always best in the fall, cool-season grasses are vulnerable to winter damage and often require some TLC in the spring. Overseeding in the spring also prevents weed infestation, due to its ability to establish itself prior to summer heat.

To repair this spots, simply:

  1. Wait until the average high rises above 50 degrees.
  2. Rake the problem areas and apply a small amount of topsoil.
  3. Apply an overseed mixture to top 1/4″ of soil and gently rake – seed can be found at a local home improvement store or landscaping company
  4. Water daily
  5. Mow once grass surpasses 3 inches

Fertilize

While the heaviest fertilizing will take place in the fall, your lawn could use a little pick-me-up in mid to late May, when your lawn starts to turn green again and shows active growth. Fertilizer catalyzes healthy growth and helps cut down on weeds (unless an infestation is already present).

If your lawn is already established, it should only require a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer – this type of fertilizer prevents your spring grass from burning. For a non-established lawn, search your local home improvement store or landscape center for a balanced fertilizer tailored to cool-season grasses. When applying, simply follow the instructions on the bag.

Fertilizer applied too early is subject to late-spring freezes and fertilizer applied too late won’t be nearly as effective and may catalyze weed growth.

Weed Prevention

When it comes to cool-season grasses, weed prevention is a far superior strategy to weed elimination. Once weeds in our climate have initiated their takeover, it’s almost impossible to stop.

This is why spring is a great time to be preemptive. The healthier your grass is the right off-the-bat, the less likely weeds will be strong enough to overpower. Our most evil culprit? Crabgrass.

Simply combine some crabgrass pre-emergent with your fertilizer and water sufficiently. If your fall lawn care was done properly, this strategy should do a great job preventing noxious weeds from taking over your lawn.

Tip: If you are doing any spring seeding, apply pre-emergent 30 days after applying seed. Pre-emergent inhibits root growth in infant grass.

Mow High

Aside from proper irrigation, proper mowing is the most important aspect of a healthy lawn. Proper mowing affects the fullness, texture, color, disease and pest resistance, and overall health of your lawn.

So, why mow high? Photosynthesis takes place in the upper portion of the shoot (blade). If you cut too much off the blade, the rate of photosynthesis significantly decreases. In the spring, your grass needs to be conducting as much photosynthesis as possible to rebuild its food supply. Mowing on your highest setting for a few weeks allows this to take place.

Once the grass is back on track, the rule of thumb for mowing is to never cut off more than 1/3rd of the total length and never cut below 2 inches.

Lastly, irrigation is the single most important factor to a healthy lawn, and its importance isn’t exclusive to any season. It’s equally important in the spring, summer, and fall. One hour, 3 days a week is what your lawn needs to reach its full potential.

Now that we’ve covered the 5 things your lawn needs this spring, all you need to do is conjure up some motivation, strap on the work shoes, and transform your lawn into the something your neighbors are jealous of.

superman5 Things Your Lawn Needs This Spring