Spring Lawn Care – What You Need To Know

by Nate on July 7, 2011

Spring Lawn Care – What You Need To Know

Once the weather starts to warm up, many people want to get outside and start working in the yard. This is a great time to do many yard tasks, but spring lawn care is different. You need a special approach when it comes to taking care of your grass in the spring.

Even if you are itching to get out there and start working, you need to take care with the lawn. While the ground is still wet and spongy, don’t use any heavy equipment or even walk a lot on the lawn. The extra weight on the soggy ground can damage the new growth and compact the soil. Wait until the soil is dry before you work on your lawn.

After the lawn is good and dry, you will want to begin by removing all the debris that has accumulated over the winter. Take the time to give your lawn a good raking to remove the dead grass and any compacted debris. By raking you are opening up the soil around the grass and allowing moisture and nutrients to get down to the roots. Raking also helps to remove any debris that might carry diseases that can be harmful to the grass.

Spring is the time to start controlling the weeds. Even though you can’t see them yet, the weed seeds are there just waiting to spring up in the middle of your beautiful grass. The best way to control most lawn weeds is to use a pre-emergent herbicide. A pre-emergent works by preventing seeds from germinating and this eliminates the weeds from your yard before they grow. A pre-emergent must be applied at the right time to be effective. If you apply it too late, the seeds will have already germinated and your efforts will be in vain. The time to apply this type of weed killer is when the forsythia bushes are blooming. Forsythia’s are a vibrant yellow bush that blooms in the early spring. So, as soon as you see these bushes blossoming in your neighborhood get the pre-emergent down! Just a note, this type of weed killer only works for about three months so you may want to put down another application mid-summer.

Many gardeners can’t wait to fertilizer their lawn in the spring, but you should hold off. Most experts recommend only a light fertilizer in the springtime. However, how you fertilize your lawn in the spring will depend on what type of grass you have planted. There are different requirements for warm weather grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine, and the cool weather grasses such as bluegrass, rye, and fescue.

If you have a cool season grass, you should only apply a light fertilizer in the spring. Cool season grasses have their major growth spurt in the fall. While they do grow some in the spring and summer, they are mostly dormant during the hot, summer months so a heavy fertilizer in the spring will actually be harmful to the lawn. Fertilizer encourages new growth, so the lawn will put forth new shoots in the spring that will not be hardy enough to handle the hot weather.

Warm weather grasses love the heat and do most of their growing during the spring and summer months, with a dormant period in the winter. You can give these grasses a good dose of fertilizer after the last frost and the lawn has greened up. For both types of grasses, your local garden center will have exact fertilizer requirements for your area.

Proper spring lawn care will give your grass the boost it needs to stay beautiful and green all through the summer months. These tips will help you have the greenest grass in the neighborhood!

Piper is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family and being outside. She loves to spend time in the yard and uses a mulching lawn mower to keep her lawn healthy. She enjoys nature, reading and most of all gardening! She loves to tell others about the advantages of a small garden tiller to make working in the garden a breeze.

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