With the end of winter approaching, it’s time for the smart gardener to start thinking about getting their lawn ready for spring. With nature’s wake-up call coming soon, it’s time to get your lawn ready for a healthy growing season. We’ve got all the tips you need right here:
Dethatching dead growth in your lawn
One of the most important steps toward successful new growth is getting rid of the dead grass blocking light from penetrating your lawn. This goes double if you have mulched the lawn, or use a mower that spreads trimmed grass over the lawn. Whether you need to use a full dethatching tool, or can simply give the area a vigorous raking with a spring-tine rake, will depend on your climatic zone, grass type, and how well your lawn grew last season. Either way, get all the dead leaves out so you can start afresh. This can be done as soon as the snow starts clearing up, or once you’re past the last frost for the winter. The National Weather Service can help you with your climatic zone.
Aerating the ground
Aerating your soil is the hidden secret for a great lawn. Over time, especially as people and vehicles move over the lawn, the layers of soil are compacted. Aeration re-introduces space and air to the soil, making it easier for healthy roots to grow and for friendly creatures like earthworms to get to work. Both your soil type and how you use the lawn will determine how regularly you need to aerate. Typically you would want to do this in the fall for cool-season grasses and late spring/early summer for warm-season grasses. However, if you missed your chance in the fall, early spring will work as well.
Overseeding and creating your lawn
Overseeding is filling in the threadbare spots on your lawn. Late spring is the ideal time for warm-season grasses and fall for cool-season grasses. If you’re in a colder region, however, spot seeding of any grass type in spring will yield good results. Apply a slow-release fertilizer when you seed, and a quick-release about 6 weeks later.
If you’re adding new lawn areas (or redesigning the garden you have) now is also the time to design your garden, or to call in a professional landscaper like Malone’s Landscape to help you plan your garden for the summer season. While you can landscape successfully at any time of year, spring offers a unique chance for a fresh and clean start.
Fertilize, mow and care
Get back into the fertilizer routine about three weeks after you see greening. Applying too early will feed weeds, not your garden, and its roots must take firm hold before you overstimulate blade growth. In drier areas, you may need to consider irrigation until the rainy season hits. Mowing can start as soon as the ground is dry and you see enough blade growth to warrant it. Be sure to check your mower is set at the correct height for your grass type. Cutting grass too short encourages weed growth, and can create an unstable and shallow root system that will become water-hungry.
Timing and proactive care are some of the key components of creating a lawn you can be proud of. Alternatively, you can look at using ground covers to replace areas of the lawn if you’re not into grass. Regardless of your summer plans, It’s never too early to get the tools out of the garage, check everything is in working order, and start planning your beautiful spring garden.