LAWN & GARDEN
SPRING LAWN CARE TIPS
A healthy summer lawn starts with spring maintenance.
Winter can alter soil pH, compact the soil, and create conditions friendly to weeds and disease, so it's crucial that you properly clean, fertilize and mow your yard early in the season.
Raking and Dethatching
Raking will be your first task of spring lawn care, it's for controlling thatch. A thatch build-up of more than 1/2 inch is considered excessive. Thatch is a tangle of above-ground roots common in dense, spreading grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia. In especially bad cases, a thick mat of thatch can make it difficult for water and nutrients to reach the soil. A deep raking will remove thatch. Even if you raked your lawn in the fall, a spring raking will remove grass blades that died over the winter -- dead blades that are just waiting to become thatch!
when the soil becomes densely packed, making it difficult for grass to take root and allowing hardier weeds to take over. If your soil is compacted it should be loosened with an aerator designed to remove small plugs of soil from your lawn. Even if the soil is properly prepared, you can still have a problem with thatch.
Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using pre-emergent weed control, which will work by preventing weed seeds from germinating.
Besides compaction, the presence of moss plants also signals acidity. But grass likes a neutral pH. You can solve this problem by liming your soil. But don't expect a quick fix: the effects of liming are slow to take place.
Once your grass is well-established, you can encourage its growth and discourage weeds by applying a combination of fertilizers and herbicides. Fertilizer can help your lawn grow thick and lush, but if it's not used properly, it can actually damage the grass. A slow-release nitrogen fertilizer is best, It should be applied early in the season when the turf begins actively growing. Fertilizer should not be applied too early or late, however, as lingering cold or early heat can stress the grass.