Getting Your Lawn Ready for the Spring Season
For many lawn care enthusiasts, winter is a time of rest. With sunlight in short supply and freezing-cold temperatures all over the forecast, winter isn’t exactly a busy season for lawn maintenance. However, all of this changes with the arrival of spring. Once the weather starts warming up and the sun begins going to bed later, most lawns are ready to emerge from their long winter slumber. Homeowners looking to get their lawns ready for the onset of spring will be well-served by the following tips.
Give Your Lawn a Thorough Raking
A thorough raking should be among the first lawn care tasks you attend to this spring. Even if you managed to rake up the majority of fallen leaves before the arrival of winter, you’ll still need to give your grass a good once-over. While many homeowners recognize the importance of getting rid of leaves, they don’t tend to be as meticulous when it comes to thatch – i.e., layers of dead grass, stems, roots and leaf particles. Thatch becomes nestled between soil and grass blades and can inhibit healthy lawn growth if left unchecked. Although traditional leaf rakes can prove somewhat effective at removing thatch, it’s generally recommended that you invest in a good thatch rake. As the name suggests, these rakes are specially designed to catch thatch and can go a long way in keeping your lawn thatch-free.
Thatch isn’t the only obstacle to healthy growth. When raking your yard, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for matted patches of grass. Since new growth can have a hard time penetrating these patches, use your rake to break up any that you come across.
Check for Bare Patches
Once all the snow has melted and you can actually see your lawn in its entirety, you’re liable to notice that some sections of grass are doing better than others. Bare patches and discolored sections come about for a variety of reasons – dog urine and people walking on the grass while it’s in a vulnerable state are a few of them. Should you come across any such spots, make a point of being extra careful when mowing, weeding or walking across them. Overseeding these patches is often the most effective way to restore their health, but since fall is generally a much better season for this, you’ll need to keep them safe throughout the spring and summer.
As a general rule of thumb, your grass should be fertilized in advance of the season(s) in which it grows the most. For example, cool season grasses should be fertilized in the fall to ensure that they grow properly throughout the winter. By the same token, warm season grasses should be fertilized during the spring and early summer months to pave the way for healthy growth throughout the summer.
If you’re unclear on what type of grass makes up your lawn, you’ll need to obtain that information before proceeding to fertilize. Additionally, since fertilization can be somewhat time-consuming compared to other lawn care endeavors, you may want to consider taking advantage of the convenient lawn fertilization services offered by many landscaping companies. Most lawns only need to be fertilized once or twice a year, so this shouldn’t prove terribly costly.
Perform Mower Maintenance
If your mower has been collecting dust in the garage all winter, you’d be wise to give it a much-needed tune-up in advance of the spring season. The mower’s oil, air filter and spark plug will all need to be changed. Springtime maintenance should also entail cleaning the top and undercarriage – and taking care to detach the spark plug wire before doing anything around the cutting blades. Furthermore, the blades should be sharpened – or, if need be, replaced – and the mower’s fuel tank should be filled. If you’re inexperienced with mower maintenance or simply don’t feel like dealing with the potential dangers, have this tune-up performed by a professional handyman or seasoned landscaper.
Spring is the season of rebirth. As the freezing temperatures, frost and snow make their exit, the stage is being set for the reemergence of plant life, comfortable weather and outdoor recreation. The arrival of spring also marks the beginning of the lawn care season. Even if you’ve put lawn maintenance on the backburner all winter long, the time is ripe for giving your grass the care and attention it deserves. Homeowners who want to ring in the spring season with a beautiful, well-nourished lawn should put the previously discussed pointers to good use.