Garden Solutions Center Blogs
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Give Your Lawn the Care It Needs This Spring
When the days get longer and warmer, it’s the perfect time to provide some TLC to your awakening lawn. The yard work you do in early spring can help guarantee you’ll enjoy a lush green carpet of healthy growth throughout summer and fall.
When the ground is dry, rake up dead vegetation and fallen leaves so your lawn can breathe and begin growing. Clearing grassy areas of clutter improves the appearance of your yard, allows new grass shoots to break through, prevents the development of bare spots and removes incubators for pests and fungus.
Stop weeds before they create problems for your lawn by applying a pre-emergent weed killer and then thoroughly watering the grass. If weeds have already popped up, pull them by hand and apply an eco-friendly, species-specific weed killer.
Check for soil nutrient deficiencies
Conduct a soil test to determine whether your soil lacks nutrients grass needs to grow. Take soil samples from several areas of your lawn. You can use an at-home soil pH test kit or send the samples to a certified laboratory for a detailed report on the soil’s pH and nutrient levels, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Amend soil as needed
If the test results show that your soil won’t foster healthy grass growth, you can apply lime to elevate pH and add key minerals by putting down a 1-inch layer of compost or spreading a small amount of chemical fertilizer. Follow the package directions carefully so you don’t use too much fertilizer. Excess chemicals can burn the grass and run off into storm water drains, polluting lakes and streams.
Cover any bare patches with large amounts of grass seed. To give new grass the best chance to take root and thrive, match the seed to the dominant grass species in your yard, apply low-nitrogen fertilizer and water just often enough to keep the seeded areas moist.
Begin mowing your lawn when the grass gets 2 inches high. Get your mower tuned up before you use it after storing it over the winter and, especially early in the season, cut no more than a third of the blades’ length at a time. To add some compost to the lawn, use a sharpened mulching blade.
Check for and control compaction
With foot traffic and normal use, all lawns become compacted over time. If growth has slowed and moss is growing in some areas, your soil might need loosening. After the grass resumes growing and you’ve mowed at least twice, use an aerator to loosen the soil.