When it’s spring, it is the most important season to care for your lawn. The rest of the year will suffer if you neglect your lawn in the spring.
These are the five main steps to bring your lawn’s life back after a long winter.
Feed the Lawn
After a winter that was long and harsh, spring is the perfect time to give your lawn some life. It all boils down to fertilizer.
You can use organic fertilizers that are made from natural materials today instead of using refined chemicals. Natural fertilizers reduce the risk of runoff affecting wildlife and water bodies.
The application of a light amount of rapid-release fertilizer to your lawn in the early spring will provide a huge boost of nutrients and stimulate the growth of the turfgrass. Your lawn might start to grow greener within a few days. You can also choose to use a combination slow-release and rapid-release fertilizer if your lawn doesn’t need much attention during the season.
There are two main methods of applying fertilizer.
- Granular (solid pellets). For larger yards (1/2-acre or more), you can use granular and a broadcast spreading tool to evenly spread it across the lawn.
- Liquid If your lawn’s size is less than half an acre (or less), you may find it easier to use a liquid that has been dilute in water. You can attach it to the end your garden hose to fertilize as you water. Or, use a compress sprayer with a pump.
It is easier to apply the correct amount of granular. A broadcast spreader (handheld, pushed) allows you to quickly and easily spread the pellets.
Mulch mowers can also be used to feed your lawn. They chop up the grass into small particles. The soil will get nutrients from the clippings, so they should not be bagged.
Crabgrass: Get ahead
The second part of lawn care for spring is pre-emergent control of crabgrass. The time frame for controlling crabgrass is very limited, regardless of your preference for organic, home, or chemical solutions. Pre-emergent that is applied too quickly will not work. You can harm the seedlings if you apply it too late. How can you tell when it is the right time?
Three days of constant 55degF soil temperatures is the key to When temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees F, crabgrass can spread quickly.
You can also use a backpack or handheld compression sprayer for a more efficient application. This will depend on how large your property is. You should not mix weed killer sprayer bottle with other sprayer bottles. Label accordingly.
Some products include “weed-and-feed”, which combine a preemergent crabgrass herbicide, fertilizer, and fertilizer for spring. This product contains a small amount of fertilizer that boosts grass growth while the preemergent discourages crabgrass seedling formation.
Before you start spraying your lawn, think about what it needs. There is no need to spray a “weed and eat” or any other weed killer if there aren’t many. Instead, apply fertilizer to the whole lawn and then spot-treat your weeds.
Make sure you prepare your lawn mower
An annual lawn mower maintenance appointment is recommended in spring. You can easily do this yourself if you have a gas-powered lawn mower. You should expect to pay around $20 for an air filter, spark plug and oil. Check your operating manual.
A cordless, electric mower does not require any gas, spark plugs, oil or gas filters. This makes it extremely convenient and low-maintenance.
Under the deck
No matter what type of mower you use, the area beneath the mower deck must be cleaned. This area is often hidden and can become a breeding ground for old grass and leaves. The mower deck’s shape is dictated by the mower blade’s movements.
The mower deck pulls lawn grass upright. This allows the blade’s to make precise cuts. It won’t create a vacuum if it isn’t cleaned below the deck. People often complain that their lawnmower doesn’t cut as well. This is usually due to not cleaning the under-deck area. Turn the unit upside-down and use a putty blade to get into it!
Replacing/sharpening the blade
What about the blade, though? You don’t need to replace the blade if it hasn’t been knicked. You may notice that your blade is more likely to be damaged if there are sandy soil conditions or pinecones. This is especially true for the southern and western United States. Make sure to take the time and pick up all debris and sticks before you mow your lawn so you don’t damage it.
It is important to keep the blade sharp in order to cut through grass and not tear it. This can lead to disease and other problems. Your blade should be sharpened 2 to 3 times per season. Some people find that it is a pain to take the blade to the shop for sharpening. It is quite easy to just unbolt the knife and attach a new blade. You can then skip sharpening. A second option is to keep two blades in stock so you have another blade available for when the first blade is being sharpened.
An electric mower’s battery should last for hundreds of hours. However, this assumes you maintain the mower clean and properly store it.
Keep the mower out of direct sunlight in summer and winter. It will cause the battery cells to become less efficient. If possible, bring the mower into the basement or a temperature-controlled garage. If you don’t neglect your mower, it should be able power through hundreds upon hundreds of charge cycles!
Your Lawn Can Be Dethached
Thatch is the layer of dead grass between the soil and the living grass. Thatch can help to moderate extreme temperature swings and is good for the soil layer. A thicker than half-inch layer of thatch will prevent air and water movement and invite diseases and pests. It could be caused by too much nitrogen fertilizer or lack of lime, frequent and shallow irrigation, lack of earthworms, or chemical pesticides.
Dethatching your lawn is best done in late spring or early fall. It is best to not dethatch your lawn too early in spring as it will cause irreparable damage to the baby grass that is still germination.
To ensure that the roots are nourished and watered, you’ll need to pull the dead grass out. There are small dethatching tools that can be used in your yard. The tines of the rake push down into the grass to reach the underneath thatch layer, and then pull the dead grass up to the surface.
A electric thatcher may be a better option for larger yards and areas with severe thatch problems. It quickly pulls up dead grass and deposits it on the ground. You can either rent a dethatcher from your local home improvement shop or buy a powered multi-tool with multiple attachments (trimmers and pruners). One attachment option is often a dethatcher. This powered multitool might be the best option if you do a lot with your yard and garden.
It will be amazing how much dead grass you see after you dethatch! While it might look messy, you’ll soon notice healthier grass. After all the thatch has been removed, it’s time for overseeing, planting new grass seed into any bare or decayed areas. You can also use the same broadcast spreader to apply lawn seed. Buy grass seed in bulk and simply place the seed in a hopper.
Note If your grass feels hardened and compacted, it may be necessary to “aerate” it. This is done in the fall, unless the soil is too compacted to allow for grass growth. Core aerators are machines that extract soil plugs from your lawn in order to let oxygen, water, nutrients, and other elements penetrate the soil. Core aerators can also be rented at a home improvement shop for a single use.You can then rake up any newly exposed lawn that you have dethanned with a rake/power dethatcher.
Define the Lawn
To create a tidy and neat yard, edge the lawn. An shovel looks similar to a shovel. However, it comes with a blade which creates a sharp edge between the turf and driveway to prevent weeds creeping in.
St. Augustine grass, a grass that grows out of place, can grow in certain climates, especially those in the South. The edger functions as a week hoek with an edging tool. Both manual and motorized edgers are available for small lawns.
Edge the landscape beds and flower beds to maintain a clean, neat appearance. You can edge mulched trees to prevent them from migrating.
A shovel can be used to edge but it can be difficult and time-consuming. A bed redefiner or gas-powered edger uses an angled blade to dig trenches around trees. It can also be powered by electricity or gas.