Snows Gone ! Now What ?

March 3, 2014

Spring Lawn Care Tip #1: Raking.

 

Raking will be your first task of spring lawn care. Okay, I can hear the groans coming from all lands near and far, wherever grassy carpets are cultivated: "But we already raked leaves in the fall!" Sorry, but raking is for more than just removing leaves: it's for controlling thatch, too. A thatch build-up of more than 1/2 inch is considered excessive.

 

Thatch is the reason why I recommend that, when you rake leaves in the fall, you make the effort to rake deeply. Don't just skim the surface, so as to remove the leaves. A deep raking will remove thatch, too, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone. Even if you followed this advice in fall, I still recommend a spring raking: it will remove grass blades that died over the winter -- dead blades that are just waiting to become thatch! But there's often another good reason for a spring raking. As you survey your lawn in spring, see if there are any matted patches, in which the grass blades are all stuck together. This can be caused by a disease known as "snow mold." New grass may have difficulty penetrating these matted patches. But a light raking will be sufficient to solve this problem.

 

Spring Lawn Care Tip #2: Check for Compaction.

 

If your lawn is subjected to high levels of traffic year after year, it may eventually start to show signs of decline. In such cases, your lawn is probably suffering from compacted soil. For instance, the presence of moss signals compaction (among other things). Lawn aeration is the remedy for compaction.

 

Spring Lawn Care Tip #3: Over-seeding.

 

Is your lawn riddled with bare patches due to dog spots, Heavy traffic or neglect? If so, you may need to apply grass seed to fill in those bare patches. This solution is known as "over-seeding lawns." Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer when you over-seed. Five weeks after the grass germinates, apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer. However, spring isn't the very best time for over-seeding lawns. Fall is the preferred time, when the new grass won't have to compete with crabgrass, which is killed off by autumn frosts. So postpone over-seeding until fall, unless your situation calls for early seeding to prepare for the coming seasonal stresses.

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