When winter fades into spring, planning to get outdoors and prepare the lawn for warmer days can be a welcome thought. Getting a jump on lawn care in spring is a great way to help ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn. But where to start? Read on for helpful spring lawn care tips you can use to make your lawn look its best all season long:
- Spring Yard Prep
After the snow melts, remove debris that accumulated during the winter, like leaves, sticks and twigs. If your lawn was damaged from snow blowing, plowing or shoveling, then replace the divots. Spring brings the right time for thinking about soil testing, laying down new grass seed, applying fertilizer and herbicides, and considering whether your lawn needs regular watering. Consider all these options when you prep your yard for spring.
- Lawn Mower Prep for Spring
It will be time to mow your lawn before you know it, so prepare your lawn mower for spring with basic maintenance. If you happen to find that the lawn mower isn’t working properly, then this prep will help to provide ample time to get new lawn mower parts or perform repairs.
- Dethatching Lawn in Spring
Once the ground has warmed, dethatching can be an essential step to maintain the look and health of your lawn. During winter, layers of dead organic material can accumulate on your grass beneath the snow, and this material may prevent grass seed from germinating, while also encouraging the growth of fungus or pests. Learn how to dethatch your lawn to help you achieve a healthy-looking yard this spring.
If you plan to fertilize your lawn this spring, then you’ll want to remove this harmful material beforehand by using a dethatcher or lawn rake to remove any matted material. Dethatching can help the fertilizer penetrate the soil to germinate in a healthy manner.
Wait until you’ve mowed the lawn a few times before dethatching. This process can give your grass a chance to thicken up and withstand dethatching better.
- Test Your Soil
Once your lawn dries out, it’s a good idea to test your soil to understand what sort of fertilizer or soil amendments you may need for spring. You can pick up a basic soil test kit at most garden stores, or you may be able to send soil to a local garden store or county extension office for testing. The results can help determine what nutrients or fertilizers may be needed. Standard tests provide information on your soil’s pH, lime, phosphorus and other nutrients. Use these results to help with fertilizing, selecting and caring for plants, and diagnosing problems.
- Lawn Fertilizer for Spring
Fertilizing strengthens roots and stimulates grass growth, making it an essential step in maintaining the look and health of your lawn. On the flip side, fertilizer can harm your lawn if not chosen properly or if over or underapplied. When choosing the best lawn fertilizer for spring, consider factors like grass type, soil type, and your yard’s foot traffic and climate conditions.
Make sure to pay attention to the fertilizer numbers located on the packaging, referring to the amount of core nutrients (e.g., nitrogen, phosphate and phosphorous), that the fertilizer contains. Being knowledgeable about this standard can help you select the best formula for your lawn. Keep in mind that some fertilizer brands tend to have more fillers than nutrients, so pay close attention to the ingredients before purchasing. Also, when trying to regrow grass, be cautious of mixing weed control fertilizers and grass seed because the weed control can prevent grass seeds from growing.
Applying the correct amount of fertilizer is important as well. Overfertilizing may cause nutrient buildup in the soil, making it hard for grass to absorb water. Meanwhile, underfertilizing contributes to a lack of nutrients in the soil, attracting weeds and crabgrass that can hinder grass growth. Avoid these lawn fertilization mistakes this spring to ensure a healthy lawn for the seasons ahead.