Lawn & Garden:
Spring Lawn Care Tips
Spring may be one of the most important times to care for your lawn. Depending upon your location, your lawn may have suffered through a harsh winter and is in need if some genuine tender loving care. Weather is very unpredictable this time of year, but there are still plenty of chores you can do that will help bring your lawn back to life.
Identify Your Grass
Do you have cool or warm season grass? It is important to know the actual “type” of grass you have before tending to it.
Cool Season Grass – cool season grasses generally have two times of the year when growth occurs (spring and fall). Summer is a time that is very dangerous for this grass, as it will struggle to maintain its strength during these hot months. Grasses in this category are:
Warm Season Grass – this category of grass absolutely thrives during the summer. As soon as the weather changes in the spring, you will see a noticeable difference in the “life” of this grass. Grasses in this category are:
o St. Augustine
Spring Clean Up
It is tempting to get out there and rake the lawn, but spring is the time to be very gentle with your lawn care. In most cases, the soil will be damp and can very easily be damaged. Even heavy foot traffic on the lawn at this time of year can cause problems.
Allow the Soil to Dry before Cleaning – if you work the lawn when the soil is still soggy, you may damage your lawn permanently. We realize you want to get out there and clean it up, but you have to patient to ensure you do not do any damage to the lawn. Once the soil dries, get out there to clean up the debris and leaves by gently raking (actually fluffing the grass).
Dealing with Snow Piles – if you live in an area that sees significant snowfall, you will need to address any remaining snow piles come spring. If you allow the snow to sit, it can actually suffocate the lawn and promote the growth of mold. Spread the piles out as the weather warms and allow them to melt into the ground.
Regardless of the type of grass you have, spring is the ideal time to treat your lawn for weeds. The best time to treat the lawn is when forsythia bushes finish their bloom. If you do not have any of these bushes, keep an eye on your neighbors and schedule your pre-emergent herbicide treatments when you see them bloom. Most of these treatments will last for about 90 days, so mark your calendar and plan to do another application during the summer.
Checking Your Soil
This is the perfect time to test your soil for any problems. This should be done prior to seeding or fertilizing, as your lawn will need time to allow the treatment to settle. If your lawn tests acidic, you can apply lime to the soil to address this problem. If you would like to purchase a soil test kit from our online store, click here.
Cool Season Grass Vs Warm Season Grass Treatments
Treatments such as fertilizing, seeding, and planting need to be done at different times of the year based on the grasses we mentioned above. Here are some basic guidelines to help you with these tasks.
Cool Season Grass
When the temperature starts to climb in the 60s, you can being planting. You will, however, need to check your soil temperature to ensure it is at least 50 degrees before starting. Because it is cool weather grass, you should only be addressing bare spots and patches. This is not the ideal time of the year for planting this type of grass, as it will thrive better during the cooler seasons, such as fall.
While you can fertilize your cool season grass at this time of the year, it should be done lightly. Fertilizing is meant to encourage rapid growth of the lawn. As we stated above, this is not the “ideal” planting season, so you are more or less just trying to keep the lawn fed and in good shape until the fall season. We would also recommend using a slow release fertilizer during the spring.
Warm Season Grass
You should wait until you see steady temperatures in the 70s before planting (soil temperature should be in the 60s). You will also want to check your local weather long-term forecasts to make sure the warmup is permanent and there is no danger of frost happening again.
Wait until the end of April or early May to fertilize your lawn. The ideal time would be when your lawn is completely green and shows active growth. This normally happens after the “frost” season has concluded.
Additional Spring Lawn Care Ideas
In addition to the basic care tips we mentioned above, you can further improve your lawn by doing some extra tasks to help promote healthy growth. Some of these tasks are:
Dethatching – this should be done prior to aerating the lawn and should be done once a year. If you do not have a dethatching rake already, you can see our selection of dethatching products if you click here.
Aeration – golf courses are infamous for aerating their greens and fairways during the late spring and early summer. If you want your lawn to look as good as the local country club, warm season lawns should be aerated in early summer and cool season lawns should be aerated in the spring. This should, however, NOT be done until you have seen steady growth in the lawn and have mowed it at least two times. This means the lawn is growing and will be able to recover from the aeration quickly.
Watering the Lawn – cold air works the same way on lawns as it does on our skin; it dries it out. So, you can water your lawn lightly during the colder spring days to ensure it is getting the hydration it needs, and then it should be watered with about 1” of water per week during the warmer months
Mowing the Lawn – once you see the lawn growing, you can being mowing it as needed. However, keep in mind, the lawn should not be cut any more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade at any one time. Adjust the settings on your mower appropriately.
Insect Control – nothing destroys a good lawn more than out of control insects. Critters such as grubs, mole crickets, and fire ants can make all your hard work for naught if they are not addressed. To see our full line of lawn insect spray treatments, click here.
HippModernBuilders.com offers a wide variety of lawn care products, but some products are only available in store or as ship to store. If you have any questions prior to purchasing lawn care products, please give us a call at our store (870-269-3800) and we will be more than happy to answer your questions. Or, for those of you in the Mountain View area, come on in and see us! Our store is located at 1404 E Main St in Mountain View, AR.