9 Tips For Perfect Lawn Care In Spring
A Detailed Guide To Spring Lawn Care
Spring time is a pretty relaxed time for lawn care maintenance, but as anyone will tell you, a gardeners work is never done. Here at Tools Around The House, we present you with spring lawn care tips that will take you all the way from a frozen patch of grass, to a healthy and vibrant lawn.
Lawn care in fall is arguably more important than lawn care in the spring. If you have properly treated your lawn in the fall, then you will have much less work to do now; the grass will have had all winter to germinate, and will be waiting in full potential for the warmth of the sun.
Whether or not you made full use of the pre-winter months, the spring is the time to get back outside and tend to your lawn. Over the winter your lawn should have turned brown, but in spring, if all is well, it should turn back to a nice healthy green color. A few small steps now can really make a difference to its revival. Here are 9 tips for the perfect spring lawn:
1. Be Gentle With Your Lawn
You might be enthusiastic to get straight out to work on your lawn as soon as the temperature rises, but you must proceed with caution, and be as gentle as you can with any work that you do, especially early on in the season. Treading on damp soil can compact and disturb it, and being heavy footed on new grass shoots can seriously damage growth. Wait until your lawn is mostly green, and even then work as lightly as possible.
2. Get The Rake Out!
A light rake is the first major step towards lawn restoration. Remove any debris from your lawn, and rake through any thatch that has accumulated over the winter months. Sometimes a good rake is the only lawn care tip that you need, but the cleaning up of your lawn can occasionally reveal hidden horrors; dead patches lurking in the deep.
3. Cut Off Dead Patches Of Lawn
If you identify any dead patches of lawn (they should be brown, and when tugged come up easily), you can remove them with a spade by cutting an edge and then pulling them up.
4. Test Your Soil
Bad soil conditions can prevent your lawn from growing well, and stop you from having the dreamy thick lawn that you always wanted. You can have the soil tested to see what problems may be arising. This is much better than dumping fertilizers on in a trial and error based fashion. You can buy soil testing kits online, or at your local store.
5. Correct Any Problems
If you do have any problems with the PH or nutritional balance of your soil then spring is a great time to sort it, to give your lawn the best chance of optimal regrowth. Harsh winters can cause high levels of acidity in the soil. You can apply a thin layer of lime if this is the case. If the soil is very compact, then you should give it some more aeration.
6. Reseeding Grass
With the soil tested and corrected the next spring lawn care tip is to reseed any areas that are looking particularly brown, dead, and bare. You can do this with a lawn product that will cover it, or you can choose to seed it; which might take longer, but will produce the nicest results.
You should also consider reseeding your grass. Every year, up to a quarter of the grass on your lawn can die out, and the situation can be worse if the winter has been particularly harsh. Overseeding is the act of sewing new grass seeds into an existing lawn. This is an extremely effective way to rejuvenate your lawn, and brings healthy thick growth through, as well as providing stiff competition that helps to fend off weeds.
To Overseed your grass:
- Scatter the seeds onto the soil and gently rake them in.
- Water with a light mist every day, and make sure your soil never dries out.
- When seeds germinate you should water them more deeply, and ensure the young blades have a high level of phosphorus (add feed is necessary.)
- Do not cut the grass until it is 3' tall. To avoid issues cutting the rest of the lawn, set your cutting height to 3' so that you do not effect the new growth.
7. Fertilizing Your Lawn In Spring
Perhaps the best spring lawn care tip we can give you where fertilizing your lawn is concerned, is not to go over the top with it! This is especially true if you have cool-season grass. If it is too heavily fertilized in spring, then this will lead to rapid but unstable growth, and the grass will be weaker by the summer. These cool-season grasses are also masters at retaining moisture, and if you gave them a good dose of fertilizer in spring, then you shouldn't even need to apply any. For warm-season grasses you can fertilize in late spring for a lush green; just make sure you do this after the last frost.Opinions differ between people in this area, but most would agree that fertilizing is much more crucial in fall. For those who are interested in organic lawn care, organic fertilizers are available and can be applied in a low dose in mid spring. When you start to mow your lawn again you might also consider mulching, a natural way to add a slow release nitrogen to your lawn.
8. Control Weeds
Another of our spring lawn care tips is to deal with any weeds that have survived your lawn maintenance in the fall. Spring is a great time to tackle weeds before they have fully emerged, and before they spread to become a living nightmare. You can apply some pre-emergent herbicides to help stop weeds from growing, but only give it a light application, as anything heavy could damage the regrowth of your lawn.
Top lawn care tip: you cannot spray herbicides in an area that you are seeding and expect your new seeds to make good grass. Gardeners usually choose between applying herbicides, or overseeding, because the herbicides can stunt the growth of the weaker new sprouts
For those who are interested in organic gardening there are plenty of organic pre-emergent herbicides available for spring, and for more traditional lawn care you can take to your knees and pull the weeds out by hand. Both of these methods can be less damaging for your lawn, and can allow for new growth to come through.
9. Mowing The Lawn
Perhaps the most important of our spring lawn care tips, is that you need to mow your lawn regularly. Your grass won't have grown much at all over the winter, but when it does you should begin to mow again regularly. Now is a good time to dig out your lawnmower for a routine maintenance check, or to look for a new lawnmower.
The aim is to try to keep your grass at the same height throughout the whole of spring. The ideal height will depend on the type of grass you have; Common bermudagrass can be cut to 1-2 inches, whereas taller grasses like St Augustine can be cut as high as 5 inches.