Spring is an important time to take care of your lawn, implementing the following 9 spring lawn care steps will help you achieve a healthy, beautiful lawn with a lot less work down the road.
Step 1 – Lawn sweeping
Sweeping off road salt, sand, and rocks will help protect your lawn. These materials can diminish the soil quality and become inhospitable to grass roots. Sweeping off the lawn when the ground is still frozen prevents these materials from incorporating into the soil. Leaving sand, salt, and gravel on your lawn can lead to bare spots or dead patches in the summer.
Step 2 – Skip dethatching
While dethatching is thought to be an essential part of maintaining a healthy lawn, it is best to do so only as needed. Dethatching will damage new growth and can expose weed seeds in the soil, leading to weed growth like crab grass and knotweed.
- To determine whether or not you have a thatch problem, you will need to use a soil probe. Pulling out core samples and measuring thatch is the proper way to identify excess thatch. If your thatch layer is 3/4 of an inch or more, you should address the issue.
- Still, dethatching is not the best way to reduce lawn thatch, core aeration is actually better for reducing excessive thatch, especially when paired with nitrogen fertilizer.
- Dethatching may be of use if you plan to take on overseeding project this spring.
Step 3 – Blow
Fluffing your lawn with a blower instead of a rake will allow for the necessary airflow and loosening of the grass clumps for healthy growth and disease prevention. Air circulation is critical to a lush, green lawn.
Step 4 – Lawn repair
Filling any holes or low areas with high-quality topsoil prevents water accumulation, which can lead to the growth of weeds and disease. It also helps level your lawn for mowing and prevents tripping hazards.
Step 5 – Sharpen mower blade
A dull mower blade will cause damage to grass blades, leading to an uneven cut and creating opportunities for disease and insect infestations. In severe cases, mowing with a dull blade can stop new root growth for as much as a month. Sharpening your mower blade ensures a clean, sharp cut, and stimulates new growth leading to a healthier lawn.
Step 6 – First mow
Once you have a sharp blade, start your first cut at 2 inches. This will promote new growth by allowing the sun to warm the soil. It also encourages air circulation around the grass blades while also mulching the remaining leaves on your lawn. Proper air circulation is crucial for a healthy, green lawn.
- After your first mow, set your mower height to 3.5 inches for the season.
Step 7 – Reseed
Reseeding bare spots and patching any areas that you’ve repaired prevent weeds from claiming the area. These spots can be particularly unsightly and will take time to fill in without new seeds.
Step 8 -Topdress
Topdressing your lawn with compost provides the necessary organic matter for improving your soil. Compost reduces water loss by improving the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost also helps prevent soil erosion and provides a natural, environmentally friendly way to improve the fertility of your lawn.
Step 9 – Fertilize
Fertilizing your lawn with a nitrogen fertilizer provides the necessary nutrient to promote healthy growth and green color. Fertilizing too early in the spring can weaken the grass roots but fertilizing too late can limit the amount of time your lawn can grow new roots before the summer heat. Wait to fertilize until the lawn has restored its green color and air temperatures remain above 10 degrees celsius overnight.
Investing time into proper spring lawn care steps can pay off in a big way throughout the summer season. By removing debris, filling low areas, sharpening your mower blade, and reseeding bare spots, you can create a lush and healthy lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood. Then by mowing to the correct height and fertilizing appropriately, you can maintain healthy growth and prevent new weeds. If you’d like to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free all summer long, make sure to water regularly and mow correctly. For advice on summer weed control, consult a lawn care professional.