The following is an excerpt from the article, “Spring Lawn Care.” Fore more information please visit www.better-lawn-care.com.
Spring Lawn Care Chores To Do When The Grass Starts Growing:
Had Your Soil Tested Lately?
Or at least in the last three years? A soil test will tell you how much, if any, nutrients your lawn needs. It is the only way to determine whether or not liming is needed, and how much to apply. A soil test is also a valuable tool for diagnosing problems with your lawn, garden and landscape plants.
Mow Low To Remove The Dead Tops
Once your lawn starts to green up, give it a good short cut to remove the dead grass tops. This will give the newly emerging leaves the sunlight they need and get them growing. Take care not to cut it too short – scalping and damaging the crowns of the plants.
If you are a ‘grasscycler’ it’s OK to collect the clippings and excess debris this first mow of the year.
Aerating benefits your lawn in several ways: reduces soil compaction, controls thatch, stimulates new root growth and improves water, air and nutrient filtration.
Fall is the best time to aerate cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses should be aerated in the summer – when they are actively growing.
If you missed out on aerating your cool-season lawn last fall, spring is the second best time to get this done. Just be sure you aerate before you apply a crabgrass preventer.
A good time to topdress with compost is right after you aerate, all soils benefit from adding organic matter.
Thatch Control – Aerating will help control thatch and is less damaging to grass plants than power raking. If your thatch layer is over 1/2″ deep, you’ll want to consider dethatching with a power rake. Again, wait to power rake until your grass is actively growing and wait to apply crabgrass preventer until after you rake.
Overseed Bare Areas
Fall is the best time to seed cool-season grasses. However, there is a short ‘window of opportunity’ you can take advantage of in the spring…
Grass seed will start to germinate when soil temperatures reach 50° F. Get your seeding done early enough so the new grass plants have time to develop strong roots before the summer stress period.
Overseeding works best when combined with aerating. Seeds will find their way into the aeration holes where they are protected, make good contact with the soil, and germinate quickly. Skip the crabgrass control if you overseed because it also works on grass seed.
Plant warm-season grasses after the danger of frost has passed – late spring into early summer.