6 Most Overlooked Spring Lawn Tips
A good spring watering plan is key to getting roots to grow deep. This is important to help protect from disease, pests, and Heat Stress during the summer months. Encouraging roots to grow deep can also help you save water and money in the summer months without struggling to keep the lawn healthy.
For deep roots you’ll want to water deeply and less frequently. The goal is to force the roots to grow deep to access water. You should not be watering every day in the spring. If you find yourself watering everyday in the summer it is usually because of shallow roots or you may have the wrong grass for the area.
You will want to check coverage and measure how much water your sprinklers are putting on the lawn.
After testing your sprinklers you can now set your timer. Below is a general guide to watering in the spring, many factors can very the amount of water needed. The goal is to dry out the top 1”-4” between watering cycles, check the lawn to see if you are getting the top few inches to dry out. If the top 1”-4” of soil are consistently wet you may need to spread out the watering days and water less per week.
Aerating the lawn is a mechanical way to loosen soil. Aerating helps water penetrate deep into the soil and avoid evaporation. Aerating helps air get into the soil and harmful gases escape. Loosening the soil can also help roots to travel deeper and be more robust. This can also create a great space for grass seeds to germinate. Over seeding is typically done after an aeration to help the success of germination.
Spring is a great time to apply Pre-Emergent herbicides. Pre-Emergents help stop new seeds from germinating in the lawn. It is much easier to prevent weeds from going than to try to control them later in the hotter months when they don’t absorb herbicides as well. Don’t put down Pre-Emergent if you plan to seed the lawn. Pre-Emergents can stop the germination not only of undesired plants but, desired plants as well. Be careful around gardening and ornamental areas. Read the label of the product you decide to use for best result. It may require you wear personal protective equipment during application.
If you hire a company to treat the lawn and are planning on seeding yourself you should inform them not to apply any Pre-Emergent herbicides.
Spring fertilizing is an important step to get the lawn off to a great start. Milorganite is the GR8 fertilizer of choice. Using natural fertilizers can help avoid shallow roots and extreme growth that requires extreme mowing. It is all about investing in the soil, that is our philosophy. If possible it is best to fertilize after an aeration but, its fine to do it before.
Speaking of investing in soil we recommend amending the soil in the spring as well with granulated or liquid humates. This can help the soil structure to achieve similar results of an aeration without the risk of breaking sprinkler heads.
5. Snow Mold
If you have snow piles on the lawn we recommend breaking them up and putting the snow in a sunnier area to help it melt quickly. Leaving snow piles on the lawn can increase the chances of this unsightly fungus. Snow mold typically doesn’t cause permanent damage but, can be unsightly for weeks into the season. It only takes a little elbow grease to break up the snow and it can help the lawn to get off to a good start.
Spring is a great time to seed! The weather is ideal during this season and it can be a good time to help thicken those thin areas in the lawn.
We recommend that you do a little research on what seed to buy if you decide to seed. There are some seeds that can grow easily but, look and feel awful. We recommend finding a local nursery or garden center to buy seed from. The EZ seed bags from big box stores are usually not ideal. Growing the wrong grass seed can create a pest that could take over a your lawn. It’s important to get the right seed form the job, so find an experienced professional who knows what seed will work best for you lawn.
I hope these tips have helped you feel more confident about the spring lawn season. The most important thing is to get those roots nice and deep for a successful lawn all year long!
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