How Do You Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring?

How Do You Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring?

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your lawn. The cold weather can leave your grass and landscaping weak after the freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. While fall is ideally the best time to prepare your lawn for this brutal weather, spring is also an important time for lawn care. How do you get your lawn ready for spring? Follow these spring lawn care tips to ensure you have a lush, healthy lawn this spring and beyond.

Timing Is Everything

Don’t start too early! While it can be tempting to get out and get started on your lawn as soon as the weather starts to warm up, spending too much time on it before it is green can cause compacting of the grass and soil or killing new grass shoots before they get a chance to fully mature. Best practice is to wait until the lawn has turned mostly green before mowing or aerating. Check your lawn for compaction in the spring. If you find evidence of compacted soil, make plans to aerate in the fall. Aeration isn’t recommended in the spring.

Raking Isn’t Just For Fall

Raking isn’t a chore reserved just for the fall season. Raking in the spring is equally important. That’s because raking in the spring isn’t just for leaves – it also helps control thatch (a tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems, leaves, and roots which accumulates between the layer of actively growing grass and the soil underneath). More than a 1/2″ layer of thatch is considered excessive. Raking helps break this up and removes it to allow the grass underneath to breathe. It also helps avoid mold and other diseases.

Clean Up

Spring is also a great time to clean up your yard before the high traffic volume of summer. Walk your yard and clean up any twigs, branches, and other debris that may have accumulated over the winter. Rake out any dead grasses you find.

Repair And Replenish

Winter can leave your yard with bare patches as a result of dog spots, neglect, high traffic, or large objects that were left out, such as lawn furniture and toys. These bare spots can be repaired by reseeding in the spring. After applying the new seed, the area should be watered daily for at least the first week and shouldn’t be mowed until the grass is at least 2 inches tall. If your thin grass needs to be thickened, you can also overseed in the spring. After overseeding, water the areas daily for at least 2 weeks. A slow release nitrogen fertilizer should also be applied when you overseed and again at 5 weeks after germination.

Fertilize

Fertilizer with weed killer should be applied in early spring. This not only provides nourishment for your lawn but also allows plant roots the means for strong growth. It is recommended to do a lighter fertilizer feed in the spring and a heavier fertilizer feed in the fall so as to sustain nourishment over the harsh winter months. Too much fertilizer in the spring can lead to disease and can also encourage the growth of weeds.

Mow High

A good rule of thumb for mowing any time of the year is to only remove 1/3 of the total grass length at a given time. In early spring, cut your grass at the highest setting based on your lawn’s type of grass. Leaving the grass taller sinks deeper roots and also helps to crowd out emerging weeds.

Edge The Beds

Edging flower beds in the spring helps to keep grass growth from invading the beds. Edging can be done by using a sharp garden spade to cut a 2-3″ deep, V-shaped trench along the bed edges. This edging can be maintained with a string trimmer throughout the growing season and the trenches can be recut as needed.

Eliminate Weeds

Herbicides come in two varieties – preemergent and postemergent. Preemergent herbicides kill weeds before seedlings can emerge. Postemergent herbicides kill weeds after they have germinated. The application of a preemergent herbicide should be done hand-in-hand with the application of fertilizer. The preemergent herbicide forms a “shield” that prohibits seed germination. If you apply a preemergent don’t core aerate as this will puncture the “shield” and the herbicide will no longer be effective. Postemergents can be applied at any time. However, you should use caution and read the product label. Some postemergents are selective and will only target weeds while others will kill anything green – including grass, shrubs, and flowers.

Get Rid Of The Grubs

Hibernating grubs begin to crawl toward the surface of lawns to chew on grass roots in late spring. Therefore, a grub preventative product should be applied in early spring. It is especially important to treat for grubs if you had a problem with grubs in previous years or if you have a neighbor that you know has a problem with grubs.

Give Your Mower A Tune Up

Mowing season begins to rev up in the spring. Spring is the time to tune up and clean up your mower to get ready for use during the growing season. Change the oil, air filters, and spark plug and fill it up with gas. Clean any dirt or grass clippings that remain on the mower. Sharpen the mower blade or replace it if necessary. Before your first use in the spring, warm the mower up by letting it sit in the sun for 1 to 2 hours before cranking it. This can make it easier to start after the long winter hiatus.

Call A Pro

Lawn care can be daunting. Some people enjoy it while others look at it as a burdensome chore. Whatever the situation, a professional lawn care service can provide you with proper analysis,treatment, and timing which are critical in achieving a green, healthy lawn not only in the spring, but year-round. Contact us for a free lawn care analysis.

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Caring For Your Lawn After Heavy Rains

Caring For Your Lawn After Heavy Rains

You know how the saying goes … April showers bring May flowers. As we move into April and those heavy spring rains, one thing that takes a beating is your lawn. Grass can’t survive much longer than 4 days once it is underwater. Heavy rains can cause your grass to become waterlogged and flooded. It can also cause erosion of soil. You should take extra caution when taking care of your lawn after rain so you don’t damage it. What should you do to keep your lawn lush and verdant after these heavy spring rains? Check out these 8 tips to care for your lawn this spring.

1. Don’t Mow

Don’t mow a wet lawn. You should wait until your lawn has dried out completely before you cut it. Mowing a wet lawn can not only cause compaction but it can also develop ruts in the soft ground. You should also never use an electric mower on wet or even damp lawns. When your lawn does dry out enough to mow, make sure to use the highest cutting height on your mower blades.

2. Keep Off

Keep off the wet grass. You shouldn’t walk on wet grass if at all possible. This can cause your grass blades to become damaged. You should wait for the water to subside completely before walking. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to walk on it without leaving wet footprints behind.

3. Take Notes

After a heavy rain you should inspect your lawn for areas where water tends to collect and stand. Once you have identified these areas, you can correct them by leveling out the ground or by improving the drainage to the area.

4. Aerate

Your lawn can benefit from aeration after it has been flooded. You can aerate it either manually with a garden fork or with a power aerator.

5. Clean Up The Silt

Silt can be left behind on your lawn after a flood. There is a chance that the silt that is left behind can be contaminated. You should always use caution when working in your yard after a flood by wearing rubber gloves and boots and covering any open wounds. Remove any silt and debris by either raking it up or washing it off with a hose. This allows the ground to breathe and to absorb more sunlight.

6. Remove Moss

Flooding after a heavy rain can cause moss and algae to grow on your lawn. You can rake away the moss and algae but you might need a professional treatment to make sure that it doesn’t grow back.

7. Watch Out For Fairy Rings

Another thing that pops up after a flood is mushrooms. Mushrooms are typically harmless and can be removed by mowing over them. What can be damaging is if the mushrooms are growing in a fairy ring. Fairy rings happen when mushrooms grow in a circle with dark, green grass in the center. The grass in the center of a fairy ring will usually die because it is competing with the mushrooms for water. If you have a fairy ring, remove the mushrooms immediately down to their roots.

8. Fertilize

Heavy rains can wash away vital nutrients that your lawn needs to thrive. You can replenish these nutrients by fertilizing your lawn. Continue to apply the fertilizer even after your lawn starts to recover so that it can rebuild healthy roots.

If you need help with your lawn this spring consider contacting a lawn care company who can provide you with a lawn care analysis and set you up with a comprehensive lawn maintenance plan.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Spring Lawn Care

A Step-by-Step Guide to Spring Lawn Care

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Effective lawn care is a year-round process. But, it’s easy to let your lawn go in the winter. We’ve all been there. And if that’s the case, the cold winter weather has mostly likely left your grass dry and dull. Now is the time to bring it back to life get your lawn healthy again so you can maximize its green days this summer. Here’s what you can do:

Step 1

Get rid of debris, weeds and thatch build-up. Thatch – tangled grass, stems and roots that accumulate on the soil’s surface – can prevent your lawn from getting the nutrients it needs to thrive. To remove thatch, mow grass shorter than your normally would (about 1″ high). Then, use a hand or machine-powered thatch remover or thatch rake (which you can rent from your local hardware store). For heavily compacted lawns, aeration is recommended.

Step 2

Test your soil’s pH levels. You can do this yourself or by getting a free lawn analysis from your local lawn care company. If the pH is low, you’ll need to add lime to your lawn. If the pH is too high, you’ll need to add a compound, like ammonium sulfate, or sulfur, that will raise your lawn’s pH level. If you’re not familiar with how much lime or sulfur to use or when appropriate application times are, contact a professional; too much of either can damage your lawn.

Step 3

Control and prevent weeds by using pre-emergent weed control products. These products usually last around 3 months so plan to re-apply again later in the summer.

Step 4

If your grass is patchy, you may consider overseeding, or wait for grass to fill in on it’s own. This will take longer but is recommended if you’ve recently applied weed control products (wait at least a month before seeding after using herbicides).

Step 5

Now that you’ve removed thatch, regulated soil’s pH levels, and controlled weeds, your lawn is ready for nourishment. For warm-season turf, fertilize once your grass is green again, usually in April or early May. For cool-season turf, fertilize lightly using a slow-release fertilizer; a heavier feeding is recommended in the Fall when grass is in peak growing season.

Step 6

Establish a mowing and watering schedule. For best results, cut grass at 1/3 or less of the blade length at a time. Once grass is growing, give your lawn at least 1″ of water a week.

Step 7

Address pest issues. Common insects, like grubs, can cause damage to your lawn; use preventative or curative pesticides and water the grass after, so that the products penetrate the soil. Reseeding may be necessary to address dead patches.

Step 8

Now may be a good time to aerate your lawn. Aeration allows nutrients, oxygen, and water to reach the grass’ roots and is usually done in the Fall for cool-season turf and early to mid-summer for warm-season turf.

Feeling overwhelmed? Call a pro. Every lawn is different and comes with its own challenges and needs, AND lawn care service is often cheaper than DIY methods. Then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your lawn while someone else takes care of it for you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1459539706252{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 10px !important;padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #000000 !important;}”][vc_column][ctitle title=”Request a Free Lawn Analysis” uppercase=”no” color=”#ffffff” background=”#000000″ position=”left” separator_color=”#ffffff”][vc_separator style=”blank” padding_top=”5″ padding_bottom=”5″][vc_column_text]

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