Weed early and often
Dandelions, crabgrass and closer are weeds and simply put – you don’t want them in your yard. Weed pulling is something none of us enjoy, so it’s important to get on the ball early in the season to get out ahead and give your yard the best possible shot at bouncing back strong. One of the ways you can do this is by applying pre-emergent herbicide that will prevent weed seeds from germinating. We recommend that you wait until your soil temperature has reached about 55 degrees Fahrenheit – as it’s a big indication that weeds and plants alike will start growing soon.
Aerating your lawn
In the winter your soil freezes, but more importantly – it becomes more compact. Aerating loosens up your soil and makes it easier for more oxygen, water and nutrients to get into your soil. It’s a fairly basic maintenance method as you’ll only need to do it once a year and it pays huge dividends in terms of the overall health of your yard.
Thatch is simply the layer of dead grass that builds up on your lawn that lingers right towards to the top of the soil. When there are limited amounts of thatch, it can be highly beneficial for your lawn in that it acts more as a form of mulch. When there’s too much of it, water can get backed up and saturate the area and the added moisture can cause fungus and prevent air from reaching your grass. For smaller amounts we recommend a simple convex rake, but for bigger jobs – a power rake (or vertical cutter) should be used.
Pruning is vital towards bringing your trees and shrubs back and keeping them healthy. Doing so will produce healthier leaves, plants, flowers and fruits. Pruning is a relatively broad topic, so be sure to read up depending on what your yard’s needs are.
Mulching helps in a wide range of ways, but in terms of seasonal transition – its best function is regulating the temperature fluctuations. It’ll stave off heat damage, slows down evaporation and will prevent weeds from sprouting up. How and what you use is up to you, but we’d advise consulting with a professional to find the best possible fit.
Transitioning your yard from the winter to spring is no small task, but doing so properly can make a huge difference in the health of your lawn. We can help. Give us a call if you simply want some advice or if you want us to help with all the heavy lifting.
Don’t worry – they’re not terribly complicated and can make a big difference in the overall appearance of you lawn later on down the road. Additionally, they’ll help compliment a lot of the work we discussed last month.
Let’s jump right in!
We mentioned dethatching last month – but it’s always a good idea to wait a month and give your lawn a once-over, one more time. Especially in wet seasons like the Spring we’ve had this year on the seacoast, some grass can brown out and not come back at all. That can crate a matting all to it’s own, so it’s good to skim back over one more time. A little detritus won’t hurt anyone or anything – but a quick skim will help give your lawn that little extra kick once the weather finally warms up and your soil dries up a bit.
Grass needs healthy soil in order to grow. Grab a soil testing kit from your local hardware or garden store and put it to use. Most types of grass grow in conditions that are neither acidic nor alkaline. Get a feel for where your lawn is at and make the adjustments as necessary.
For the first few mows
When you mow your lawn in the spring, you should mow it on a high setting. Why? Because tall grass means deeper roots. Not only will these deep roots find moisture better, but they’ll also crowd out weeds and prevent issues in certain spots in your lawn. So go for more of the light trim and a little off the top instead of taking out the heavy duty clippers and going for the tight look.
Weed treatment alternatives
Weed treatment is as important as any of your lawn care priorities in the spring. But some of us would rather stay away from using chemicals in our yard for a wide range of reasons. Safe to say – there are alternatives you can turn to that are organic and that can work just as well.
Two of the easiest solutions you can use are probably hiding out in your kitchen cupboard right now – and that’s cornmeal and white vinegar. It ain’t exactly pickling, but it’ll work. Especially in the case of white vinegar, it’s 5% acetic acid – which will be more than enough to kill off most weeds. If you need something with a little more punch – you can get up to 20% acetic acid white vinegar at your local garden store.
As they say – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and it applies as much to springtime lawn care as anything else. Setting the right course for your lawn early on – will lead to better results in the future – and results that are easy to manage.