The world looks greener, the air feels fresh and you are ready to dig in to maintain your lawn.
Spring is the most important time of year for your lawn. It's waking up from a long winter of hibernation and your grass is ready to grow, grow, grow!
With the proper care and nutrients your grass can flourish into a lawn you only dreamed about. So get started with these simple spring lawn care tips.
After a winter of low temperatures, snow piles, and foot traffic, inspect your soil for compaction and thatch build-up. Both of these issues can prevent proper nutrients and water from reaching the soil, essentially affecting the growth of your lawn.
Keeping your grass at 2-3 inches of length and following the 1/3 Rule provides shade to the soil, allowing it to soak up moisture and nutrients. The "1/3 Rule" follows the recommendation to never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade at time. Cutting off too much grass can cause shock to the plant, halting growth. Plants under shock are more susceptible to disease.
Bagging your grass clippings is not necessary if you are following the 1/3 Rule. The short grass clippings will add important nutrients back into your lawn. If you are cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade, it is recommended to bag your clippings. The longer clippings can turn into thatch, creating more work for you in the near future.
The best time to test your soil is in the spring, before you have applied any fertilizers or additives to your lawn. Knowing about your soil will help you to decide what fertilizer works best for your lawn.
You can buy PH kits at your local lawn and garden store and perform the test yourself. You can also send a sample to your local Cooperative Extension Service office and they will send you a full report of your soil.
Fertilizer replenishes food for your lawn that has been dormant over the winter months and can promote lawns to grow lush, healthy and thick. Be careful though, too much fertilizer can damage your lawn causing chemical burns.
Choosing the right fertilizer can also prevent weeds and give your lawn a better root system to fight against drought, foot traffic, and other lawn stresses.
As your grass is actively growing, so are the weeds. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide works even before any signs of weeds appear. This step is also helpful if you've had weeds in the past and want to prevent them from returning.
If weeds are already visible then a post-emergent herbicide is your better choice. These herbicides kill existing weed plants and roots. Contact and Systemic Herbicides kill the plants that are already in plain sight. Repeat treatments may be needed depending on the weeds and the root growth.
Spring is the most important time of the year to take care of your lawn. After a long harsh winter of being dormant your lawn wakes up ready to grow. Keep up with proper lawn care maintenance and your neighbors will be turning as green as your lawn with envy.