Get your lawn ready for a lush, green season! With proper care and attention this Spring, your lawn can thrive. From aeration and dethatching to fertilizing, these are 13 spring lawn care questions homeowners should know the answers to. As spring approaches, it’s time to focus on getting your lawn in shape for the growing season. In this article, we’ll tackle your burning questions about lawn care.
Question: When should I aerate the lawn?
A: Aeration is a popular part of lawn care with some benefits in the short term. However, it’s important to only aerate where needed, as over-aeration damages the grass and disturbs the soil. Aeration is mainly beneficial if you’re planning to apply compost or overseed, as it helps to open the soil and create an opportunity for new grass seedlings to take root. The best time to aerate your lawn is in the spring when the soil is moist but not saturated, and the grass has already started to green up.
Question: When should I dethatch the lawn?
A: Dethatching should be done as little as possible and only when the thatch layer is 0.75″ thick or more. Thatch is a layer of dead grass roots, stems, and other organic material that accumulates between the soil and base of the turf. While thatch is generally beneficial, too much can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of your grass. Any time after your first mow is a good reference time if you must dethatch Lawns will not recover as quickly if you dethatch in the hot summertime.
Question: How long does it take grass seeds to grow?
A: The amount of time it takes for grass seed to grow depends on several factors, including soil temperature, grass type, and watering practices. Grass species will germinate anywhere within 5-21 days under ideal conditions. Then it can take several weeks or even months for the grass to establish a healthy root system and start filling in the bare spots. Regular watering and fertilization can help to speed up lawn growth and promote a lush, healthy turf.
Question: How do I prevent crabgrass?
A: Crabgrass is a common problem in lawns, but it can be successfully prevented with consistent lawn care techniques. The best way to prevent crabgrass is to overseed in the spring with perennial ryegrass, which will help to crowd out the crabgrass and prevent it from taking root. In addition, it’s important to maintain proper watering and fertilization practices, as a healthy lawn is less susceptible to weed growth.
Question: Are mushrooms bad for the lawn?
A: While some types of fungi cause disease in your lawn, most lawn mushrooms are harmless and even beneficial, as they help to break down organic matter and improve soil health. The problematic lawn fungi, such as brown patch, do not produce mushrooms, so seeing mushrooms in your lawn is generally not a cause for concern.
There is one case that mushrooms indicate a problem in the lawn, this is known as fairy ring. This disease is not well understood and there are no home lawn treatments in Ontario.
Question: When do I use grub killer?
A: Grubs are a feared lawn pest that feed to the roots of your grass, appearing in a Spring lawn. In Ontario, biological grub products should be used on juvenile, actively feeding grubs, which typically occurs in early August. If you have grub damage, you will need to reseed the area after applying the grub killer to ensure that your lawn can recover.
Question: When should I rake the lawn in Ontario?
A: Raking in the Spring helps to remove the dead grass and other debris preventing new growth. To revive a few patchy areas in your lawn, wait until your lawn has greened up. Then simply rake up any dead grass and proceed to reseed the area. After spreading the seed, cover it with a layer of soil to promote growth. If you have small pebbles, you should sweep them off rather than rake them up to avoid damaging the grass roots. If you want to fluff up a matted Spring lawn, we suggest using a leaf blower instead of a rake to avoid pulling up the grass.
Question: When is too early to fertilize?
A. It’s important to avoid fertilizing your lawn too early in the spring, as this will cause excessive growth and weaken and deplete grass roots while photosynthesis is slower in the early season. Fertilizing in the spring should be applied after your grass has fully greened up and is actively growing, which typically occurs in mid-spring. Organic fertilizers are generally more forgiving and can be applied earlier in the season with less risk of damage.
Question: What’s the difference between spring and summer fertilizer?
A. The main difference between spring and summer fertilizer is how quickly the nutrients are released. Spring lawn fertilizers are designed to release their nutrients quickly, giving your grass a boost of growth after it emerges from dormancy. Summer fertilizers, on the other hand, release their nutrients more slowly, providing sustained feeding over a longer period of time. This helps your grass maintain healthy growth throughout the hot summer months.
Question: Should I get my lawn rolled?
A. Rolling your lawn can be helpful in some cases, most notably before laying sod to smooth out uneven areas. However, it’s important to be cautious with rolling, as it can also have negative effects to an existing lawn. Rolling can compact the soil, making it more difficult for your grass to establish healthy roots and limiting water and nutrient absorption. If you do choose to roll your lawn, you can also aerate beforehand to help mitigate the potential lawn compaction. Use caution, aerating and rolling every year will result in poor soil quality over time.
Question: Do I need to lime my soil?
A: Liming your soil can be beneficial if your soil test indicates a pH of less than 5.5. If your soil results indicate a pH of 4 or less, you probably don’t have any grass and really need lime. Lime helps raise the pH level of acidic soil, making it more hospitable for grass growth. However, it’s essential to perform a soil test before applying lime, as adding too much lime can harm your lawn.
Question: Is there any problem to look out for in the spring?
A: Yes, there are two common problems to look out for in your Spring lawn: snow mold and melting-out disease. Snow mold can develop in areas where snow accumulates and persists for extended periods, and it can lead to brown or gray patches of dead grass. Melting out disease, on the other hand, is a fungus that causes grass blades to turn yellow and eventually die. Both problems can be prevented by keeping the grass dry and well-drained.
Question: What’s the best lawn product for spring?
A: Compost is an excellent choice for a spring lawn product. Compost contains a mix of decomposed organic materials, enriches the soil, and provides nutrients to the grass. It also helps retain moisture, which is essential during the hot and dry summer months. Additionally, applying compost in the spring can help improve the overall health of your lawn and prevent weed growth in your spring lawn.
Spring is a critical time for preparing your lawn for the growing season. This Spring lawn Q&A has hopefully provided some helpful insights on how to do so. Remember to always follow best practices and consult with lawn care professionals if needed to ensure the health and beauty of your lawn.