Bringing your lawn back to life every spring can be fun and exciting. After your yard turns brown and it has several dull spots, you will be eager to eliminate the weeds and revive your green patch. As your plants start waking up after winter, here are some of the ways to prepare your lawn for the spring season.
1. Rake up the Old Grass
Raking and watering are the first steps to take care of your lawn as winter comes to an end. Start preparing your lawn by taking out all leaves from the previous autumn season. Rake all the thatch – the matted thick dead layer of grass.
For a relatively small lawn, you may use a hand rake to remove the build-up of dead grass from it. When it comes to more aggressive removal of thatch (or due to the large size of the lawn) you can also employ a power rake. Before you aerate the soil you will need to water your lawn, which takes us to the next step.
2. Water Your Lawn
You don’t have to rush to watering at the beginning of the season. Allow the roots to grow deep down into the soil before you water. When the grass begins to grow, the roots grow first and if the ground is a bit dry, they move down deeper into the soil to find moisture. Grass with deep roots is more likely to survive throughout the year.
So when should you start watering the grass? If you step on the lawn and the blades of the grass don’t spring back as you walk, you know it’s time to water the lawn. Use your garden hose or a customizable water sprinkler that can match the exact size and shape of your lawn. This is far more beneficial to the environment and will prevent you from wasting water during the process.
3. Aerate the Compacted Soil
From autumn to the end of winter, the lawn soil gets packed down and compacted. Compacted soil conversely has problems taking in air, water, and nutrients. This can cause poor soil quality and affect the overall health of the grass.
Lawn aeration promotes the intake of water, air, and fertilizer for stronger and healthier roots. How do you know that the soil is compacted? Here are some signs to look out for:
- Presence of weeds and diseases on the grass
- Shallow tree roots
- Barren patches of dirt
- Puddles of water
You can also test whether your soil is compacted by sticking a pitchfork into it. If the fork does not go in without applying a bit of effort, the soil is most likely compacted.
You can deal with soil compaction by using a machine known as plug aerator or core aerator. It takes out portions of soil, creating holes that reduce soil density. For a small lawn, you may puncture the top of the soil with spikes.
4. Reseed the Patches
Don’t leave any bare patches on your lawn because weeds will quickly grow there. Fill bare patches, burnt spots, or damaged turf by reseeding. This will eventually work towards creating a lush green lawn. To get the best results, you should give your new seeds a greater chance of growing well by cutting the grass around the patch short just before you reseed.
After you have picked the right seed for your lawn, use a good seed spreader to apply it and follow the instructions on the grass seed bag. Afterwards, place a layer of topsoil over the seeds. A good rule-of-thumb is to make this layer two inches thick. Water the seeds with a fine spray to stop the water from washing your seeds away. Ensure that your soil is moist until you see the fresh tiny blades appear. To enhance the germination of the grass seeds, you may also add a slow-release fertilizer.
5. Apply Fertilizer
This is another given when it comes to keeping and maintaining a healthy lawn. You can speed up the growth of your grass with the use of fertilizer. However, be mindful, it is possible to apply an excessive amount that will cause an overgrowth. For this reason, always keep a record of the quantity of fertilizer you applied in the autumn so you can add just the right amount in spring. Fertilizer is most effective when your lawn needs to recover from a harsh winter. It gives your grass a good foundation and the strength to withstand the heat during summer.
6. Control Weed Growth
If you have a healthy lawn, you will usually have minimal weed growth. However, a few weeds will almost always be present. You can weed these manually every evening and take out chickweed and dandelions. If you don’t have the time for hand weeding, you can use an organic herbicide that is appropriate for the type of weeds you want to eliminate. Use this herbicide only where the weeds are growing. Ensure that you deal with all weeds in the spring before they start producing seeds and start to spread all over your lawn.
Providing you don’t want your house to end up being surrounded by an unsightly yellowing patchwork, regular grass maintenance is simply a must. Adequately preparing your lawn for spring can help it to recover from the harsh winter weather that preceded it. By applying the suggestions noted above, you can ensure that your own yard will have healthy grass growing throughout the year.