We may be in the midst of January, but it’ll be spring before you know it! If lawncare has fallen to the back of your mind during these colder months, it’s time to bring it back into view. To reduce the occurrence of weeds and brown patches, follow these spring grass care tips. Enjoy growing the best lawn possible!
Rake away any lingering leaves, sticks, or thatch that has gathered on your grass. This allows your lawn to have a fresh new start. It improves airflow through your turf grass, letting it grow freely while preventing lawn disease. Removing debris will also make it easier to mow, trim, water, or fertilize your lawn.
For cool season turf types (like Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, or fescue), aerating in fall is best, with spring being a close second. For warm-weather grasses (like St. Augustine, Bermuda, Buffalo, or Zoysia), late spring or early summer works great for aerating. Core aeration benefits your lawn in several ways: it stimulates new root growth; reduces soil compaction; and allows water, air, and nutrients to reach the roots faster.
Crabgrass is a common weed that plagues lawns all over America. Odds are you’ve seen crabgrass, characterized by its long finger-like blades that grow in clumps around your grass. For warm-season turf grasses, crabgrass’s period of active growth is in the spring and summer, so the time for prevention is now! Apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control herbicide before it germinates, which is typically around March. However, sometimes it germinates even earlier so don’t wait until the last minute.
Apply Grass Seed
If you have nice, mild spring weather, this can be a good time to reseed any barren areas on your turf grass. This gives the new grass time to grow strong, healthy roots before the harsh heat of summer sets in. Seeding works well in combination with aerating, because the seeds fall into the aeration holes and make solid contact with the soil to begin germinating. However if you are reseeding large areas of your lawn, skip the crabgrass herbicide in the previous step. Pre-emergent weed control is non-selective, meaning it will prevent any seed from germinating–not just the ones you don’t want!
Water the Right Way
Everyone knows that plants need water, but they don’t always realize there are better and worse ways to water them. For a lush, green lawn, water deeply and infrequently in the mornings so grass has a chance to dry out during the day. Watering at night can cause lawn disease. This watering technique also trains grass to grow its roots strong and deep into the soil, rather than staying too near the surface.