Spring Lawn Preparation
A Few Simple Steps
Preparing your lawn for mowing season begins in the springtime. Lawns that are properly groomed and fertilized will be fuller and greener during the summer months. With just a few implemented lawn care tips, you can have the nicest yard on the block.
Raking is the first step of spring lawn care. Many times when leaves are raked in the fall of the year, only the surface leaves and debris will be taken away, leaving excessive thatch in the yard. Thatch is the layer of dead material, usually consisting of stems, leaf sheaths, and roots found between the green vegetation and soil surface. Thatch can harbor disease, organisms
and insects making lawns susceptible to damage from disease and drought.
Although many people do a fall clean-up of leaves and yard debris, raking in the spring can lessen thatch and remove any dead grass, leaves, or debris. Lightly raking over the lawn surface can eliminate matted down grass patches as well. Raking over the grass can be started as soon as the threat of winter snow is no longer a possible threat.
Grass prefers a neutral soil pH which can be accomplished by liming the soil. To find out just how much acidity is in the soil a soil sample should first be tested. Having too much lime is as bad as not enough. One way to tell at a glance if their is too much acidity in the soil is by the presence of moss plants.
Liming is a way to correct an already existing problem, not a way to prevent one. Lime can be applied by use of a lawn or seed spreader. Once a sample has been tested by agriculture services, they can advise how much lime to use per square foot. The effects of liming are slow to take place, so don't expect an overnight change.
If the lawn was fertilized in late fall, a light fertilizer, if any, is all that will be required in the springtime. Too much can lead to disease and weed problems. Lawns can also be organically fertilized with the use of compost or mulching mowers. While fertilizing, don't forget to apply any weed controllers.
For lawns that have a problem with weeds and crabgrass, springtime fertilization should be accompanied with the application of preemergent herbicides. Postemergent herbicides can be used as spring approaches and weeds, such as dandelions, begin to sprout up. Postemergent herbicides be sprayed directly on the weeds, or they can be taken up by the roots, or by pulling weeds.
Maintenance of Lawn Equipment
Just preparing the grass for spring is not the only part of springtime lawn care. You will want to take care of any equipment and make sure that is in proper running order so it will be ready for the season. A lawn mower that will get the job done throughout the mowing season without many problems is the top priority piece of equipment.
Tuning Lawn Mowers & Weedeaters
Everyone knows what a hassle it is to get on a lawn mower only to have it fail to start. A lawn mower that is stubborn to get started can be a sign that it needs a tuneup. It is recommended that lawn mowers receive a tuneup each year. It is best to do this during the off season from mowing. No one wants to have to do this aggravating chore in the middle of summer. Mowers and weedeaters can be taken to a mower shop or dealer for tune-up, or can be done by the do-it-yourselfer, just make sure to do this in the winter and fall when there is more time to do it properly.
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