While it may still be unseasonably cold in some parts of the country, spring is upon us and it’s time to get that lawn going in preparation for a summer of backyard/front yard fun. Here are a few tips to get you started!
Let’s get the messy, unpleasant stuff out of the way first. If you have a dog that uses the yard as a waste depository, you’ve probably observed a number of deposits since the snow melted. So you may want to put a clothespin on your nose, grab a shovel and start withdrawing those deposits!
Last Year’s Debris
Next, it’s time to rake up all of the leaves and debris you missed last autumn. You may notice the discoloration caused by letting them sit under the snow all winter. That, too, shall pass.
Time to Rake
Now how’s it looking? Well, whether it needs a bit of re-seeding or not, the first thing you should do is get a stiff rake, or a dethatching rake, and go over the lawn to loosen the dirt and scrape out some of the thatch so the lawn can breathe more easily. This is ultra important if you plan to add seed to thicken up or patch bare spots in your lawn. You can also use an aerator, which will perforate your lawn and break up the surface nicely (get one at a local rental yard or put an attachment on a riding mower).
The Cure for Baldness
If you’re dealing with bare spots, make sure you break up the soil at least 2 inches deep. Create a mixture of grass seed and lawn soil and apply it to bare and thin spots and water often.
Water Deep and Long
Remember to water for longer periods of time so that the roots of the grass become accustomed to going deep for water. Water often for short periods, and the roots will remain shallow. That makes the grass more vulnerable to insects and disease.
Feed That Hungry Lawn
Next step is fertilizer. That lawn of yours is going to wake up hungry. Unfortunately, so do the baby weeds. The best way to deal with that is a “weed and feed” fertilizer. But don’t fertilize in early spring. Give the new seed a chance to take hold. Apply the fertilizer in late spring, like in May, before the summer heat begins the heavy growing season.
Sit Back and Relax
Now, after all that work, it’s finally time to relax and enjoy your lush green lawn. So, crack open a cold beverage, grab your croquet set or badminton net, call the family dog and go play on the grass!
If you have a spring lawn prep secret to share, please let us know before the growing season begins anew.
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