Lawn Care Tips
1. Remove the debris
One of the best things that you can do to get your lawn in shape
for the coming season is the remove any debris; such as branches and rocks that may have accumulated over the winter. Not only will this help give your grass room to grow, but it will also prevent safety hazards once mowing season begins.
2. Do not over f ertilize with nitrogen
Traditionally, many people would prepare their lawn with high amounts of nitrogen-based fertilizer in the spring. Unfortunately, this often leads to a significant amount of damage to the grass. If you are going to use nitrogen, be sure to wait until you have mowed at least a few times before you fertilize with nitrogen and wait until there will no longer be frost on the ground.
3. Use controlled release fertilizers
If you are going to use a fertilizer in the spring, then you are best to look for one that contains nutrients that are released slowly over time, rather than all at once. You should also consider fertilizing over time, so that you help your grass to grow slowly rather than all at once.
4. May 1st is a good date to start weeding out crabgrass
In most areas of the country, crabgrass does not start to root until around the middle of May. Therefore, if you are going to apply an anti-crabgrass formula to your lawn it is a good idea to begin doing so around May 1st. Of course, this is not set in stone and if your climate is unusually warm or you notice crabgrass developing earlier, you can feel free to apply the formula earlier in the year.
5. Seed your lawn in the fall, not in the spring
Although many people do prefer to seed their lawn in the spring, it is not as optimal as seeding in the fall. Although it may seem that new grass would have a hard time surviving the winter, it is actually more at risk of damage from the high heat and sunlight of summer. Therefore, consider seeding your lawn before winter this year!
6. For best results, use a blended fertilizer
A high-quality fertilizer should contain a small amount of nitrogen that is non-water soluble, potash and phosphate. The key to a balanced formula is knowing how much of each of the ingredients your lawn really needs. There are also other minerals that are frequently added to fertilizers – some lawns require these and some do not. Depending on your soil type, geographic
location and climate, the fertilizer that you choose needs to contain the right amount of each nutrient. Check with your local gardening center to learn more.
7. The darker your lawn color, the better
Do you realize that your goal should be to get your lawn to the darkest possible color? With this goal in mind, you will have a way to determine how well your lawn and garden preparations are working. Of course, it may take you several seasons to determine the correct approach, but in the end your efforts will be rewarded.
8. Consider a mechanical seeder for best results
If you find yourself needing to seed or re-seed your lawn, it may be more work than you are anticipating. Therefore, a mechanical seed spreader may be an investment worth making. Or, consider renting one from a local lawn care center. There are also seed sprayers, however they are not recommended for inexperienced landscapers because of the precision that must be applied to achieve proper coverage.
9. If you want f ast results on your lawn this season, consider sodding –
If you dont know what sod is, you probably have seen it and dont realize it! Sod is simply instant grass. You can purchase sod in squares or rolls, or you can hire a professional to create your lawn. Sodding is best done in the late spring.
10. Find out how short you should be cutting your grass
Before the mowing season begins, you should take care to find out what the best height is for your lawn. Most people who experience problems with their lawn burning are cutting it too short. And, those whose lawns get out of control between mowing may not be going low enough. A good rule to keep in mind is that you should never mow more than 1/3 of the visible grass when you are mowing in order to avoid damaging the blades.
11. Prepare a watering schedule
Do you realize that when you water your lawn several times a day in short intervals, you may not be helping your grass to grow? Studies have shown that the best watering technique is to water for an extended period of time at infrequent intervals. Much like nature waters your lawn with rainfall.
For example, if you live in an area with clay soil you really need to water for about 5 hours at a time a few days a week. Most people do not water this way, but for the best results this is what you should do.
12. Dont skip spring lawn and garden preparation
If for some reason you opt not to do preventative spring maintenance on your lawn and gardens, you will undoubtedly pay for it for the rest of the year! While you may be able to take some shortcuts, be sure not to completely skip this important step.
13. Never skip raking
It is just as important to rake your lawn in the spring as it is in the fall. Thatch is what accumulates on your lawn during the winter to protect the roots from snow and freezing temperatures. This thatch must be removed in order to
keep your lawn healthy. Pros will tell you that even a half of an inch of thatch
accumulating can cause serious problems with your lawn. So, dont skip this
important lawn care step!
14. Raking can show signs of more serious problems
You should rake your lawn deeply every spring, because when you do you are not only removing dangerous build-up, but you are also freeing any tangled grass blades. Additionally, if your lawn has been affected by snow mold or other problems over the winter, raking may eliminate the eventuality of bare patches.
15. Aeration is important when traff ic is high
If you have a high traffic lawn – or even just some spots that get a lot of foot traffic – you should aerate every spring to avoid a condition known as compaction. If you see a significant amount of moss build up in your lawn, then this is a sign that your lawn could be in need of aeration. You can get an aeration tool that is inexpensive at your local lawn and garden store.
16. Keep an eye out for moss
If you see a significant build up of moss in and around your lawn and garden, this could indicate significant problems including a need for aeration or a need to combat high acid levels in the soil. Both are simple procedures,
which will not require a significant investment of time. However, it is important to address the problems as soon as possible to get your lawn healthy for the coming season.
17. Watch for bare spots
If you see bare spots developing throughout your lawn as a result of your pets, or high traffic, you can do what is called overseeding. Basically, you will be placing seed in the bare spots to sprout new growth. The best time to do
this is late in the fall, when temperatures are mild and the sun is not as hot as in the spring and summer.
18. Use preemergent herbicides
The difference between conventional herbicides and preemergent herbicides is that while conventional herbicides kill weeds as they are located, preemergent herbicides treat your lawn to prevent the growth of weeds, crabgrass and other irritants from the time of their application. There is a specific window of time in which the herbicides are effective when applied, check with your local lawn care center to determine the best time for your specific region.
19. Aerate first and then apply chemicals
If you intend to aerate your lawn or garden, do so prior to applying any chemicals, herbicides or fertilizers. Otherwise, you will be wasting the chemicals. Also, herbicides form a blanketing shield over the soil. Aeration will puncture this blanket, which may lead to problems.
20. Be on the lookout for dandelions
Dandelions are probably the largest lawn pest known to man. If you want to keep them from spreading once they begin to appear, snap off the head of the flower before it turns to seed. Otherwise, you can expect to have a sea of yellow blanketing your lawn all summer long. You can treat dandelions upon emergence with a spot killer. Preemergent herbicides are generally ineffective
21. Check out your mower
Spring is a good time to perform preventative maintenance on your mower, and to make sure that it is working in optimal condition. At the same time, you can take a few minutes to check your other landscaping tools to ensure that they are in good repair for the coming season.