It is time to get your yard ready for the warmer weather with this simple guide…
It is starting to look like the colder weather is finally behind us. Which means you will want to start enjoying time outside in your yard. Here are a few simple tips to help your lawn have grass that is the envy of your neighbors.
Grab the Rake
The best way to start getting your grass and yard ready for spring is by using a rake to remove all of the dead leaves and debris. If you leave last year’s dead leaves on your lawn, it can smother your grass and will hurt your lawn’s growth.
You might think that the raking you did in the fall is sufficient. It isn’t and here’s why:
You need to control the thatch. Thatch is the dead grass that builds up between the soil surface and the green vegetation you see on top. By raking your lawn every spring, you will remove the excess thatch that can harm your grass.
After you have raked your yard and removed all of the debris and excess thatch, you need to spread a thin layer of compost. When I say thin I am talking only about 1/4 inch at the most. This will enrich the soil and help to provide nutrients for the grass.
You Reap What You Sow
Now is the time to sow grass seeds on any bare spots. You can’t just sling the seed on the hard ground. You are going to need to loosen the surface a couple of inches (2 inches should be fine). Level the loose soil in the bare spot. Now you can spread a mixture of grass seed and compost over the bare spot. Tamp it down and spray a little water on it. Don’t soak it just get it moist.
My Dad said that aerating your yard helps it to breathe. If your soil is compacted, it makes it hard for the grass to grow. Also it makes it harder for water to drain and distribute throughout your yard.
You can either rent, buy or borrow an aerator. Most aerators use steel tubes to take plugs from your lawn. Some aerators just use spiked wheels to poke holes in the soil. No matter which kind you use, the key thing is the holes will let air and water into the soil.
And this will help you have healthier and lusher grass.
Check Your Soil’s PH
Plants grown in soil with their proper pH level are healthier and more resistant to disease. You can buy soil test kits at local garden centers. Most plants grow best in soil with a pH between 6.0 to 7.0.
I know you can use lime to adjust your yards PH but honestly, I have never had to. This may be a bigger problem in other areas of the country.
Stop the Weeds Now
I am sure you want lush green grass and not a yard full of weeds. Early spring is the time to go on the offensive against those weeds! After all the hard work of raking, aerating and sowing grass seed, it is time to apply weed killer.
Pre-emergent herbicides are designed for application before the targeted weed germinates, and are an effective preventative method for controlling weeds. The only problem is they MUST be applied in the early spring and can harm certain types of grass. Also pre-emergents don’t work if the weed is already actively growing.
You can find several different kinds of weed killers for your yard at your local hardware or home improvement store. Be sure to ask questions and read the labels!
Check the Lawn Mower
I have almost 2 acres and one summer my riding mower broke. Which meant I had to cut the yard with my tiny little push mower. Not very fun at all!
Since your lawn mower has been sitting idle all winter, you really want to get it ready for the cutting season. Give it a tune-up before you need it! If you are not comfortable with doing this yourself, then have a pro clean the carburetor and fuel lines and sharpen the blades. This will make it run more efficiently and put out a little less pollution.
When you do cut your grass, cut it to about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches. Also you don’t want to cut more than one-third of the grass in one mowing. Mowing high and often will help to strengthen your grass and prevent those pesky weeds.
You need to wait until after you have cut your grass the first time before you fertilize. One word of warning is that too much fertilizer in the spring can lead to weed problems. The most important thing you can do for your lawn is to feed it.
A well-fed lawn is healthier and feeding your lawn in the spring strengthens roots and gets it off to a good start before the heavy growing season. A 20-5-10 mixture is a good basic mix for spring.
Too Much of a Good Thing
When you are filling the spreader you need to make sure you close it and put a tarp underneath it so you don’t spill any fertilizer. Too much fertilizer will burn your yard and will actually kill the grass.
The Take Away
We are blessed to live in an area that makes Spring such a wonderful time. You can add to your enjoyment with a healthy yard. I am by no means an expert when it comes to growing the most lush and beautiful yard. I have to admit I battle weeds and still have bare spots in my yard.