After the long months of winter, many homeowners are eager to get back outside and relax with some yard maintenance work. Cultivating a beautiful yard that is the envy of your neighbors requires critical steps at various points in the calendar year. A nice yard becomes a place where you can relax and spend quality time with your family and friends. But a good yard doesn’t happen by accident: it takes the same knowledge and attention to detail as any other crop. Read on to discover nine lawn maintenance tips for the critical early months of lawn care.
9 Lawn Maintenance Tips for the Start of Spring
Your lawn is resilient and able to handle the harsh winter months by going dormant. Dormancy is hibernation for your yard. There are many types of grass found in yards, and every grass type responds a bit differently to the changing seasons. Sometimes your grass will go brown and might become unsightly to look at. Don’t be concerned if your lawn does not look good when the snow melts. Dormancy is critical for a healthy yard and allows the grass to reduce water usage and conserve nutrients.
One way to help bring your grass out of dormancy is to water it. Lack of water triggers your grass to go dormant, and you might even observe your grass going dormant during a drought in the summer. However, at the start of spring, it is important to be mindful of meltwater run-off and to ensure that your yard does not become a muddy mess. Here are some tips to ensure your grass becomes green and vibrant in the shortest time possible.
Avoid Walking on Dormant Grass
Dormant grass is healthy, but it is also vulnerable and somewhat weakened. Avoid foot traffic on dormant grass, if possible, and tell your children to avoid running and playing in the yard until it begins to turn green.
Check Your Drainage
Controlled watering helps your grass come out of dormancy, but you don’t want flooding. Standing water on your property is bad for your yard and could lead to washouts that cause damage to your root system.
As the snow begins to melt, check to make sure that there is no debris in any nearby catch basins. If the catch basins are blocked, water could back up onto your property. Once the period of runoff from melting snow has passed, you can move on to regular lawn maintenance.
If a puddle does develop on your property, you shouldn’t panic. The ground will absorb the water, but remember that the ground will be very muddy, and you shouldn’t walk on it, or you’ll risk damaging the blades and root system. Take note of low spots if they develop and take action to ensure more efficient, controlled drainage in upcoming years.
Water If Necessary
In northern climates, there is generally enough moisture in the air from runoff and spring rains to ensure your grass will awaken from dormancy. If you live in a more arid climate, you will probably be on a watering schedule throughout the winter. Water is necessary to bring your grass out of dormancy, but do not overwater, or you’ll drown the plants’ roots.
Even if you were diligent about raking in the autumn, it’s likely that you will find leaves that blew onto your property prior to the first snow cover. Do not rake until your lawn has firmed up and does not have muddy patches, or you will damage the blades and root structure. Be gentle with your spring raking and use a spring-tine rake with an upward stroke. Spring raking loosens matted grass and allows you to pull up dead grass that can smother new growth.
Weeding and Herbicides
Take advantage of the early spring days to remove encroaching weeds and apply herbicides if necessary. Dormant weeds are more easily targeted and removed before they’ve had a chance to enter the accelerated spring growth stage.
Once the additional water from spring runoff has been managed, and your yard has been restored to its customary level of firmness, you should consider aeration. Aeration is the process of removing small plugs of turf from throughout your yard. Removing these plugs allows moisture to penetrate your root structure to a greater depth, and it gives your roots space to grow into. Don’t worry about the plugs that are removed; they will break down and refill the aeration holes in a few weeks.
Spring is a critical growth period for your lawn maintenance schedule, and aerating allows you to take full advantage of this natural process. Aerating ensures your roots have unobstructed access to ample nutrients and water, which will ensure a strong, healthy root system. Aeration allows you to achieve that lush, carpet-like lawn that is healthy and beautiful.
If you have bare or thin patches in your yard, overseeding is a terrific lawn maintenance tactic. Overseeding is the application of new seeds over your existing turf. These seeds take root and help fill in spaces which helps to reduce the encroachment of weeds. Overseeding works best in conjunction with aeration and proper fertilization.
Fertilizing helps you take advantage of the natural growth that is provoked by spring temperatures. The spring is one of the peak growing seasons in the entire year, and it’s important for you to consider every component of your grass, from the roots to the blades. However, be sure you don’t over-fertilize as that can burn and damage your root system. Always adhere to the recommendations on the packaging and the schedule prepared by your lawn consultant.
It’s important to time your fertilizing properly. Do not fertilize when there is still a lot of moisture, or the fertilizer might be washed away before your grass is able to take advantage of it. The best time to fertilize is around two to three weeks after the grass has begun to green.
Resume Your Mowing Schedule
Soon you will be mowing your lawn to the recommended growth length. Remember that you should never remove more than one-third of the blade of grass each time you mow to ensure blade health.
Consult With the Experts
It takes minimal lawn maintenance to achieve a beautiful lawn, but simple mistakes can prevent you from achieving the perfect, lush green yard you are hoping for. There are a variety of factors that go into getting the most out of your spring lawn maintenance, and if you perform your treatments too early or too late, it might prevent you from getting your desired results.
Professional lawn care experts can evaluate your yard and devise a treatment schedule that will maximize the results you get from your efforts. A beautiful lawn is a place where you can relax with your family and create enduring memories that will last a lifetime. If you would like to schedule a consultation with lawn care experts, contact Weed-A-Way today. Their experts will devise a plan that allows you to take part in your lawn care as much as you choose. The perfect lawn doesn’t happen by accident: contact the experts and get started on cultivating a better yard today!