Spring Lawn Care
With spring almost done and summer almost here, it’s never too late to get started on lawn care. With the proper equipment, time, and nurture, you can transform your yard into the number one lawn on the block. This will be part of a two article series, with Fall & Winter to follow shortly.
Spring Lawn Care
Some aspects of spring lawn care are often overlooked by homeowners. There are several things one must do in the spring to ensure a healthy lawn year-round. Timing is also everything; starting work on your lawn before it has recovered from the winter months can lead to less than desirable results. It is best to wait until the soil has thawed from the winter months and the signs of snow are long gone. By waiting until the soil has recovered and the grass is actively growing again, you prevent damage to your lawn that would be caused by walking on or raking frozen soil, exposing it to sunlight and giving weeds the opportunity to strike before you do. While you wait, you can make sure your lawn care equipment is ready by the time you need it.
Once the time is right, you should rake your lawn. This left me scratching my head the first time I heard it, but raking your lawn in the spring helps remove the buildup of thatch and identifies areas where snow mold has impacted your lawn and caused grass clumps. Once that’s out of the way, test your soil for how much nutrients it needs (if you haven’t done so in a long time), which will let you know if you need to add lime to it at all. Don’t add too much lime; doing so will hurt the soil rather than help it.
While fall is the best time to seed the grass, there are certain times where it can be done in the spring. If you have bare areas that need to be attended too, plant grass seeds intended for warmth in the late spring before the early part of summer kicks in. If you suffer from crabgrass and weeds like most homeowners, look into getting a pre-emergent herbicide, which will take care of those pesky weeds. Most people typically apply there’s starting around mid-March.
Now, about fertilizing. The heavy amount of fertilizing is typically done in the fall, but light applications of fertilization will keep your lawn healthy and green. If you did your fertilizing right in the fall, your fertilizing lawn care should consist of a light application around the beginning of May. Overfertilizing in the spring can put a strain on the grass roots. The last thing you should worry about in the spring is watering your grass. Springtime is generally filled with plenty of rain, and letting your lawn get a little dry will cause the grass roots to dig deeper in search of water. It’s best to wait until the warm and dry summer season to apply water to your lawn care regimen.
Summer Lawn Care
During the summer months, your lawn faces constant stress from heat and dry periods, as well as pesky insects. One of the most important aspects of the summer months is watering your lawn. Watering during the right time periods is crucial during the summer. The rule of thumb is that you should water your lawn with an inch of water once a week. Manual watering should be done in the early hours of the morning before the sun comes out and dries up the moisture later in the day. Be careful with how much water you're feeding your lawn, as too much can cause infertility in the soil.
Either every other day, or every few days, you should walk around your lawn for signs of new weeds springing up. Checking frequently for and removing annoying shrubs helps prevent them from planting their roots deep into the soil.
Mowing your lawn is a task I dread, since my allergies hit me like train. It’s also needed on a weekly basis. When mowing your lawn, keep the blades as high as possible; this provides added benefits to the health of your soil and lawn. Taller blades of grass are able to soak up energy more efficiently during peak sun hours, translating to more nutrients for your soil. They also provide shade to the soil which allows it to retain more moisture than if the blades were shorter.
There are many different types of insects that can affect your lawn as well, such as grubs, chinch bugs, billbugs, and sod webworms. There’s different ways to get rid of different types of bugs, so if you find yourself battling with a certain insect, make sure you do proper research on how to get rid of that specific critter.