Spring is a busy time for whipping the lawn into shape. Here’s a look at some of the key early-season jobs to complete in your lawn:
1. Clean up
As winter fades, pick up or rake leaves, fallen branches, pine cones, and other debris from the lawn before the first mowing. Also, rake any brown or discolored patches to help warm and dry the area and encourage new growth. Some of these patches could be from a common cold-season lawn disease called ‘snow mold.’
2. Get the mower ready
If you didn’t do it at the end of last season, clean grass from your mower deck and sharpen the blades so they’ll make clean cuts. Then add fresh gas, and check the mower manual to see if it’s time to change the oil, replace filters, and replace the spark plug.
Don’t let the grass get too long between mowings. Grass grows quickly in the warming weather of spring, so you might need to mow every four or five days.
3. Overseed bare areas
Spring is one of the year’s two best windows to start a new lawn, overseed, or patch dead spots. Grass seed germinates well once temperatures reach 50 degrees.
Three important steps in getting the best stand of grass quickly:
- start with quality, fresh grass seed;
- loosen the soil surface and tamp the seed in place to encourage good seed-to-soil contact, and
- keep the seed and young grass consistently moist to get it off to a healthy start.
Depending on which fertilizer you use, the first application of the year should go down sometime in early to mid-spring. If you haven’t tested your soil in several years, most garden centers and county extension offices have soil-test kits that check the fertility levels and whether any adjustment of the soil pH (its acidity level) is needed.
5. Stop the weeds
Once the first garden plants leaf out, weed preventers also can be applied that prevent crabgrass and selected other weeds from germinating. GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed and Feed and Crabgrass Preventer is a product that provides pre and post emergent control of crabgrass in the spring, while also killing broadleaf weeds at the same time. And, to top it all off, it also provides pro-level fertilization for up to 12 weeks - all in the same product, with one easy spring application.
Keep in mind, though, that weed-killers and weed preventers should not be used on newly seeded areas. If you’re trying to get a weedy lawn back under control, kill and prevent weeds in spring and plant grass seed in early fall.