A healthy lawn starts with spring maintenance. Winter can alter soil pH, compact the soil and create conditions friendly to weeds and disease, so it’s crucial that you properly clean, fertilize and mow your yard now that spring is officially here. When winter’s receding snow reveals bare spots, invasive plants and other problems break out the broadcast spreader and click through this list of spring lawn care tips.
● Clean and Repair Your Lawn. A thorough raking is a good start. One common problem is uneven ground. Low spots cause poor drainage, while high spots are often scalped by the lawn mower. Grab a shovel, cut away areas that are raised, and fill in those that are depressed.
● Planting Grass in the Spring. Before choosing a seed, determine which varieties work best in your region and with the amount of sunlight in your yard. Then roughly estimate the size of the area where you plan to plant, as seed coverage is recommended in pounds per square foot. If you’re spreading the seed over a large area, it is best to use a broadcast spreader, but smaller areas can be seeded by hand. Don’t ignore the grass once you’ve planted it. Water regularly to maintain soil moisture and fertilize with a slow-release, low-nitrogen product. Mow when the grass reaches 3 or 4 inches (7.6 to 10 centimeters) in height, but try not to trim off more than a half-inch (1-centimeter) as doing so could stress the plant.
● Fertilizing Grass in the Spring. Fertilizer can help your lawn grow thick and lush, but if it’s not used properly, it can actually damage the grass. A slow-release nitrogen fertilizer is best, and no more than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of nitrogen should be spread per 1,000 square feet (93 square meters). It should be applied early in the season when the turf begins actively growing, so the timing varies among regions. Fertilizer should not be applied too early or late, however, as lingering cold or early heat can stress the grass. Check the packaging to see when and how much you should water after applying the fertilizer.
● How to Mow Your Lawn in the Spring. Though it may reduce the number of times you have to mow, cutting your grass short is harmful to your lawn. Mowing with a low blade height removes nutrients stored in leaf blades and exposes the soil to sunlight, allowing weeds to take hold more easily. Taller grass is better able to compete with weeds, thanks to a larger root system and a higher tolerance for heat. It also shades the ground, allowing the soil to retain water more effectively.
● Lawn Care Equipment Maintenance. A little bit of service and preventative maintenance can ensure that your mower, trimmer and other implements are running efficiently and won’t break down before you haul them back to Dino’s Storage for the winter. Such machines are typically gasoline powered, so they should be serviced frequently.