6 things you should do at the beginning of spring to prepare your lawn and ensure healthy green turf all summer long
Everyone knows there’s very little you can do for your lawn during the height of winter. Even if there was more, who wants to do yard work in the freezing cold? There are some things you can do to prepare your lawn for success. Some of those things are not even labor intensive.
Luckily, you can usually ride out January in the comfort of your own home without risking your lawn dying for good. But, as February and March begin, it may be time to start planning some lawn care.
Although it may not seem like it, the late winter and early spring is one of the most crucial times for your lawn. Doing the proper care in the early spring will set the tone for your lawn’s health in the entire upcoming year.
Why? Because this is the time the grass wakes up and starts developing new growth and roots. If it doesn’t have everything it needs now, it may struggle the rest of the year, especially during the hot summer months. because a lot of important development happens now, at the beginning of its growth season. If you’re not sure what to do to prepare your lawn for spring, here are some tips.
1) Remove Winter Debris
The very first thing you want to do to prepare your lawn is remove all the debris that has accumulated. This may include sticks, leaves, acorns, and anything else that has been covering your lawn. You should try to do this late February or so. Wait until after the coldest temperatures have left and the sun has started to shine through. Avoid raking soggy grass to prevent damage to your turf.
2) Do a Lawn Audit
The first thing you may be thinking right now is “What exactly is a lawn audit?“. You’ve cleared your lawn so it is free from obstructing debris. Now, walk around outside and inspect your lawn for anything out of the ordinary. This can be dead spots, patches of weeds, swampy areas, or other irregularities. It is important to diagnose problems early in the year. This will give you time to work on fixing them before your lawn grows in and matures.
3) Prepare Your Lawn by Adjusting Soil pH
The changing seasons can cause the pH of your soil to shift, which can be detrimental to your lawn. Winter can cause the soil to become more acidic. Most lawns require a neutral soil with a pH of about 6 to 7.
Buy a soil test kit from your local hardware or gardening store and test your soil’s pH. If it is too acidic, sprinkle a light layer of lime, or, if you’re in a pinch, a mixture of baking soda and water. Be careful with both of these methods. Be cautious especially the baking soda: too much can throw your soil out of balance. Interested in
a quick refresher on pH.
4) Apply the Right Fertilizer
While you’re testing your soil’s pH, you can test for a variety of other things as well. Most soil test kits will include analysis of pH, of course. They will also include phosphorus, nitrous, potassium, and several other key bionutrients.
Take the opportunity to see what else your lawn is lacking. This gives you the right information to buy an appropriate fertilizer. You should apply Fertilizer should in early spring, when there’s a low risk of a sudden bout of extreme cold or heat. Your grass will also be hungry for nutrients during this time. It will be more than happy to suck up anything you give it.
5) Reseed Warm-season Turf
Another way to prepare your lawn is with seeding. Seeding is very dependent on what kind of grass you have. The ideal time to seed grass is a bit before it’s optimal growing season. For warm-season grass this means some seeding in the Spring may be beneficial. Warm-season grass means your grass thrives in the heat of summer. If you have dead or thin patches in your warm-season lawn, try reseeding during the late spring to summer. This will ensure a thick, healthy growth throughout summer. If your lawn consists of cool-season grasses, like fescue, hold off seeding until fall. Don’t try to mix it with warm-season grass.
6) Pre-emergents Can Help Prepare Your Lawn
Pre-emergent herbicides are used to stop weeds before they strike. They attack the seeds of the weed before they have a chance to grow. Applying it can be tricky, be aware. It can’t be too warm (above 55-60 degrees). It also has to be during a time where your weeds haven’t sprouted yet but your grass is somewhat established. For Tennessee, somewhere in early to mid-March is a good season for pre-emergent.
If you have a forsythia bush nearby, a helpful tip is to watch it to determine when to apply pre-emergent. As a general rule, crabgrass will begin to germinate a few weeks after the forsythia blooms. Once you see a flower, take out the pre-emergent.
You should also keep in mind that you can’t seed grass for several weeks after applying pre-emergent. Doing so will kill regular grass seeds along with weeds. Read the instructions that come with the pre-emergent to make sure you use it correctly.
Keep Taking Care of Your Grass
Taking care of your lawn is a year-round pursuit. If you use any of these tips, you can’t just sit back and wait for the magic to happen. You must continue to mow, fertilize and take care of your grass all throughout the rest of the spring and summer.
We know that your lawn isn’t your entire life: You have a job, a family, a social life, and other hobbies to worry about. That’s why Turf Managers offer full-service lawn and yard care to manage your lawn for you. We handle all these tips mentioned here and MORE.
With 25 years in the industry, we know the seasons, plants and growing conditions of Nashville like no one else. We can provide you with quality service that ensures your yard looks its best all year round. Click the link below to learn more about our services for your lawn, flowers, landscaping, and more.