Spring lawn care is just around the corner, and now is the time to plan how you will spring into action for the healthiest and greenest grass. You need to know when and how to get started, and the right steps to take. Just as importantly, you need to know what not to do. Here are the keys to your plan of turf maintenance.
Step One: Getting Your Supplies And Tools Ready
- Lawnmower – Remove the spark plug first for safety. Detach blade and get it sharpened. Clean out undercarriage with a wire brush. Remove old gas, and oil (if used). Replace air filter. Reassemble, setting your mowing height for 2 to 3 inches. Use a new spark plug, new gas, and new oil (if used).
- Rakes And Shovels – You should have these clean and in good working order. Check the condition of your leaf rake, garden rake, and shovel. Tighten screws if necessary.
- Grass Seed – Make sure it’s appropriate to your zone, and enough for your spring lawncare plans.
- Pre-emergent Herbicide – Stock up on this for killing off weeds before they start and enjoy more R&R this summer.
- Fertilizer – Spring fertilizing is key to a strong root system.
- Sprayer – You’ll be amazed at how often you use this! You can apply so many different solutions, from fertilizer to aerator, to de-icing solution for your pavement in winter.
Raking Is Everything (yes, even though you did it in the fall!)
First, and foremost, do NOT rake when the ground is still soggy and wet. Spring lawncare is all about treating the ground gently, and tromping around on a wet and soggy yard compacts the earth, and tramples the grass.
Once things begin to dry out, rake to remove leaves and other debris, and ‘fluff’ the grass with a fan rake. However, if getting rid of that thick dead brown layer called thatch is your goal, follow it up with a garden rake, and don’t be gentle. Remember, if your thatch is thick, your lawn will be thin.
Saving-Your-Back Tip: There are liquid thatching products that can be applied to save you a LOT of back breaking work.
Aerating And Top-Dressing
The biggest problem for your lawn is that you can’t turn it over to loosen the soil and add fresh topsoil, so it becomes compacted and poor in nutrients. What you can do is aerate and add fresh topsoil. You can buy/rent an aerating machine, or you can use a liquid aerating solution (which can be safely combined with the thatching liquid). When top-dressing with new dirt, simply pour it on a bag at a time, rake it in and level it, and then water it in. This is excellent for leveling out those low patches, and the grass will easily grow up through it as long as it’s no deeper than an inch.
Pick One: Over-Seed OR Weed’n’Feed
Spring lawncare is like everything else in life, you have to pick your battles. Using an organic weed and feed (that kills weed seeds before they start) absolutely can NOT be done at the same time as adding grass seed to your lawn. The weed killer will kill the lawn seed. If your lawn is bare & patchy, go with adding a zone-appropriate seed. If dandelions and crabgrass have you pulling out weeds (and your hair), use the pre-emergent weed killer.
That covers the most important parts of your plan to springing into action. Get your tools and supplies in order and on order. Keep off the soggy grass, and only rake when it’s no longer a marsh-land. Lose the thatch, aerate the lawn, top-dress with topsoil. Pick your battle for this spring and choose whether to over-seed or weed-and-feed. No worries, we’ve got you covered when it comes to spring lawncare, and we’ll cover more spring tips as the season progresses!
Use this image for a quick reminder of what you need to do at the beginning of every spring!
Got a spring lawncare issue you’d like to know more about? Let us know, you may have our next blog post in your question.