After a dreary winter, it’s perfectly natural to get excited when the weather begins warming up and you anticipate all of the green that will be returning to the landscape. In addition to the blooming trees that will be putting out their new little leaves, your lawn should be coming back to life after a fairly dormant winter. You have to do your part as well to give your lawn the best chance for being healthy and lush this summer.
1. Apply Weed Control: Spring is when weeds really take root, so try to catch them before they become established. They’re competing with your weak winter lawn for valuable resources, but if you kill the weeds right away, your lawn will be able to thrive weed-free. Apply the weed control product of your choice according to the instructions on the package, being careful to not use more than that because it may hurt your grass as well if there’s too much in the soil.
2. Treat Bare Areas: If you’ve noticed some spots in your lawn that don’t appear to be coming back this spring, now is the time to get seeds in the ground. Gently aerate and till the soil in these places to give the seeds soft soil in which to take root. Then spread seeds in the amount recommended on the package, gently mix them into the top layer of soil, and pat down the soil around the seeds. After planting, keep the soil evenly moist, and try to avoid mowing this area until the grass there is at least three inches tall.
3. Apply Fertilizer if Needed: If you fertilized your lawn last fall before the weather got cool, the root system should have enough nutrients stored to feed the lawn throughout the summer. However, if you forgot to fertilize or have a warm-season lawn, like Bermuda grass or St. Augustine, apply a light coat of fertilizer toward the end of the spring to help it along. When fertilizing, pick a wet time so the lawn doesn’t burn, and ensure you keep the lawn thoroughly moistened following the application of fertilizer.
4. Mow Carefully: You’ll probably be excited when your lawn becomes green and lush, but that doesn’t mean you should break out the lawn mower right away. Grass is alive, and its growth may be stunted if you cut it too short or too often. In particular, you should never mow off more than the top third of a blade of grass because any more than that would stunt the growth of the plant. The best mowers have adjustable height so you can set your desired height based on how tall the grass is when you mow it.
Whether you have the best lawn on the block or are the one struggling to keep up with your neighbors so you don’t shamed at the neighborhood association meetings, now is the time to get to work! Giving your lawn the best possible start in the spring will encourage healthy growth right from the beginning, increasing the chance that your lawn will stay healthy all summer long. Pick a warm, sunny day and spend some time on your lawn this month!