Say goodbye to all of the cold weather… Spring is right around the corner! Now is the time to begin preparing your lawn for the warm weather that will ensue in the upcoming months. Neglecting your lawn now can set you up for a having a bad and unhealthy lawn for the rest of the year, so it is important to start taking care of your lawn as early as you can.
Before you start any treatments, you should first evaluate the impact that the winter months had on the lawn. Are there bare spots in the lawn? Are there a lot of weeds? Is the lawn level? Asking yourself these types of questions will help you decide the next steps in lawn preparation. If the lawn is dead and basically unsalvageable, you may even need to consider starting a brand new lawn. Of course this is an extreme situation. Seeding can solve most problems.
After evaluating the condition of your lawn, begin cleaning up debris to prepare for fertilization. You may need to go around and manually pick up sticks or other objects that could have fallen onto your lawn. It is important remove these so you have a completely fresh slate to work with. If you have any weeds, now would be the time to spray and kill them.
Thatch & Aerate
Next, you need to dethatch the lawn. Thatch is a decaying plant material that covers the ground and prevents water from reaching the roots. Simply use a rake to remove the thatch.
Now that your lawn is clear of debris and thatch, you need to aerate your lawn to allow the grass to breathe. Aerating your lawn at least twice a year (in Spring and Fall) will help to promote the growth of healthy and lush grass. To aerate your lawn you will need an aeration machine, which can cost as little as $150. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to buy the machinery to aerate, you can definitely hire a professional to do the job.
After taking these steps your lawn should be fully prepped and ready for fertilization. Fertilizing twice a year is the most important step you need to take in order to promote the growth of a beautiful lawn. When choosing a fertilizer, be sure to pick one that is nitrogen-rich as it helps to support growth. Also, make sure that you know the square footage of your lawn so you know how much fertilizer to buy. Multiply the length of the yard by the width of the yard to calculate this. Be sure that you cover the entire lawn when putting down fertilizer so it absorbs all of the nutrients that are needed.
Be sure that your lawn is getting enough water, especially as the outdoor temperature begins to rise in the summer months. Most grass needs about 1 inch of water every week. This means that you should only water about once a week, instead of every single day. In addition to water, you also need to cut your lawn regularly. You should take about 1/3 of the height off the grass every time you mow.
The last step is to sit back and enjoy! A healthy lawn can do wonders for the appeal of your home. Now take these steps and go get your lawn ready for warmer weather!
Written by Mike West, owner of WestCo Grounds Maintenance. WestCo offers the best solutions for lawn care Jefferson City, MO has to offer. We’ll help get your lawn prepped and ready for spring!