The following spring lawn care tips will help burst your lawn out of winter dormancy and prepare it for the warmer months ahead.
- CLEAN UP WINTER DEBRIS. Pick up trash, branches, sticks and other natural debris that accumulated on your lawn over the winter months.
- RAKE. Providing your lawn is not too wet, give it a stiff raking. Spring raking will remove smaller debris and loose thatch. It will stir up the ground allowing water, sunlight and other vital nutrients to reach turf roots and encourage new growth. Raking also creates air circulation to dry out flattened areas that could be infected with the lawn disease known as snow mould.
- AERATE. Throughout the cold winter months soil tends to become more compacted, especially in areas with heavy snowfall. Compacted soil may not contain enough oxygen to allow grass plants to thrive. Mechanical core aeration is a service that Weed Man provides that cuts finger sized plugs of soil and turf out of the lawn. It allows for increased penetration of oxygen, water and fertilizer to reach the roots enabling stronger root growth, and thereby producing a more vigorous lawn.
- OVER-SEED. Over-seeding your lawn every year is highly recommended to keep your lawn in optimal condition. Over-seeding replaces dying grass to produce and maintain a thicker lawn. Make sure that you do not over-seed too early, because the seed needs three things to properly grow. First, it needs warm soil, at least 12 degrees Celsius. Second, seeds require moisture from rainfall, supplemented by watering when needed. Third, the developing seedlings require sunshine. Adequate sunlight is required for photosynthesis to occur, once the seed has germinated.
- FERTILIZE. The best thing you can do for your lawn is to start off the season with a balanced nutrition, via a fertilization program. Apply a high quality, slow release fertilizer that won't start releasing nutrients until the grass has begun greening naturally on its own.
- MOWING. Give your lawn mower a tune up before your first use. Also, it is extremely important that you shorten the mower blade. Cutting your grass with a dull blade will tear and fray the grass plants, making them vulnerable to lawn diseases. For the first mow of the season it's okay to set the mowing height a little lower than the standard cutting height, to approximately 5 - 6 cm. A lower cut will helps some diseased foliage. Following the first cut, raise the blade to the standard cutting height (7.5 - 8.5 cm) to avoid cutting the grass plants too short. Mowing frequency is also important particularly in the spring. Do your best to only cut 1/3 of the leaf blade with each mowing session. This really means mowing before you may feel it needs it. Mowing frequently in the spring removes the tip of the grass blades, making the clippings small enough to leave on your lawn, which is very beneficial. During rapid growing season this can mean mowing 2-3 times each week. Lastly, try to alternate your mowing direction to keep grass plants growing straight.
- WATERING. Ideally your lawn requires 3-4 cm of water each week for optimal plant health. Check your garden hose or sprinkler system to ensure everything is i working condition before you need to start supplementing what rainfall may not be providing. A working watering system is vital to ensure that a sufficient water supply is readily available.
Follow these seven spring tips to prepare your lawn and to promote a healthy lawn for 2017. If you find yourself concerned about your lawn's appearance or health, contact your local Weed Man professional for a free healthy lawn analysis. A Weed Man technician will visit your property, assess your lawn's condition and discuss the best practices and treatments that will help you achieve the healthy green lawn that you deserve.