Spring brings with it the return of warm sunshine, outdoor recreation, gardening and the continuous hum of lawn mowers. But even when spring has sprung, breaking out your lawn care equipment too early can cause more harm than good. Following some helpful early season lawn care tips can save both your stress level and your lawn.
EARLY SEASON LAWN CARE TIPS: START WITH RAKING AND TESTING
Starting with a thorough, deep raking of your entire lawn removes any thatch that gathered throughout. Raking first also helps you find dead spots and compacted areas. Compacted grass and soil is typically found in high traffic areas of your lawn. Compaction prevents new grass from taking root and allows
hardier weeds to grow, which are difficult to remove. To fix compaction, use an aerator to loosen the soil. The next early season lawn care tip is testing the lawn’s pH level. Harsh winter months can cause your lawn to become acidic, which inhibits springtime growth. Most home improvement stores with a lawn department will carry a do-it-yourself pH test for soil. If the analysis shows high acidity, use a thin layer of lime to neutralize the acid.
EARLY SEASON LAWN CARE TIPS: CHOOSING YOUR FERTILIZER
If your lawn is cool season grass, and you fertilized in the fall, chances are you won’t need to fertilize again in the spring. If you have warm season grass, fertilizing in the spring is your best option for optimum growth. Warm season grass takes in the most nutrients when the weather gets warmer.
When you’re choosing your fertilizer, try to stick with slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Limit your lawn to 1 pound of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet. Timing is essential with fertilization. You want to apply early in the season, but if you’re too soon, the cold will stress your lawn out, and if you’re too late, the heat will do the same.
EARLY SEASON LAWN CARE TIPS: DEALING WITH WEEDS
Weeds can take over your entire lawn if left untreated. They’re not only an eyesore, but they choke the life out of your yard as well. If you’re going to use herbicides to deal with your weed infestation, you need to choose the right one for the problem.
If your weed problem is widespread throughout the lawn, use a pre-emergent herbicide before the weed seeds germinate. Note that this isn’t an option if you’re planting new grass, as the herbicide will kill grass seeds too. If your weed problem is in isolated areas, use a spot treatment method with a non-selective herbicide.
EARLY SEASON LAWN CARE TIPS: SWITCHING TO ROBOTIC MOWING
Mowing your lawn may seem like a simple matter, but it’s a lot more complicated. Incorrectly mowing will harm the individual blades and puts stress on the whole yard. Conventional lawn mowers can cut the grass too short, which removes nutrients from the grass blades and puts the soil in too much sunlight, making it easier for weeds to grow. Taller grass has a more extensive root system, preventing excessive weed growth. Your lawn will also have a higher tolerance for heat and more soil shade, which allows it to store more water.
The easiest, less stressful way to get the same perfect cut every time is switching to a robotic mower. Robotic mowers are designed and programmed to cut the right height every time. They mow continuously, creating a stronger and healthier lawn. If you currently use a traditional lawn service company, their mowers generate a cross-contamination situation that is harmful to your grass. Robotic mowers are the best, less stress option.