The Wonders and Woes of Spring and a Greener Spring Lawn
This picture illustrates better than anything else how I feel about spring. A late spring snow storm trying to dash my love affair with spring. Just like my humming bird friend I won’t give up on spring time and having a ultra green lawn by the first of April even if it gets snowed on.
Two house back my next door neighbor worked for a garden supply store. We had a friendly competition to see who could have a greener lawn. She would have a greener spring lawn, but I would win with the greenest lawn during the summer. We both did everything right, but the types of grass we had planted in our yards was different. I have this same situation between my front lawn and the back lawn. The contractors installed a very hardy, (you can’t kill me) type of lawn and I planted one that would give me a deeper green in the back. So while the tips I give you will help all types of lawn, don’t beat yourself up if your results vary.
All lawns need the same things that we do. Air to breath, water, food and disease control. Here are tips on when and how to provide these needed elements for a greener lawn early this spring.
Tip #1 – Let Your Lawn Breath
When I lived on the mountain, spring came very late and was really hard on me and my lawn. Actually it was also hard on my husband, who I talked into snow blowing the lawn the middle of March so it could breath. Luckily most of us don’t have heavy snow pack, but our lawns still need air as soon as possible.
Get those matted wet leaves off of your lawn ASAP! Have you noticed that no matter how well we rake in the fall there is always more leaves in the spring. Get them off your lawn now! Also if you have thick thatch, matted lawn with snow mold, or dead matter from voles, rake your lawn and get that stuff off. I am not a fan of power raking, but in extreme cases you may need to power rake. Only power rake in the late fall or very early spring, after your lawn has had a chance to dry out.
An easier thing to do to help your lawn is to mow it in the early spring to remove the junk and dead grass. I like to mow my lawn quite low and early in March to remove the dead stuff.
After you have gotten the muck off of your lawn, it also helps to Aerate your lawn in the early spring. If I do everything else right, I only aerate every three years or so. I hate the the little poop-lets all over my lawn, so I always rake those up and put them in the vegetable garden.
Tip #2 – Feed Your Lawn Early!
I generally fertilize the first week of March. I did it in February this year because I was going to be out of town . My friend who grew up in Arizona, would do his in February. I had my lawn aerated yesterday so I will be putting a second coat of fertilizer on today. While the weather is cool and wet I will be very generous and fertilize at least once a month during the spring.
Tip #3 – Proper Watering
Nature takes care of most of our spring time watering. If you have been one of those over waterers, try to ween your lawn this spring. Less frequent watering and watering longer is so much better for your lawn. Re-program those sprinkling systems. Water once a week, then slowing increase to just every three or four days in the cool weather. Even in the hottest days of summer you should never water every day! See my post on watering lawns here.
Tips #4 - Disease Control
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Ton of Cure!
If you help your lawn breath, and feed it you generally won’t have any spring time disease problem. The only one that sometimes crops up is a fungus issue. Too much water and not enough air create this problem. You can spray if you have a real problem that you can’t control with proper management, but most often as the weather dries out the problem will resolve itself. Grubs and bugs don’t come along until later in the year, so don’t worry about that for now.
The one thing that I always do is apply a good weed control as soon as the snow melts. If I put down a good pre-emergence on my lawn, and the entire yard for that matter, in early March I have an easy summer. I have used Preen, and you can also check out my post on Organic Weed Control.
So get out and enjoy the weather. Put a coat on if you need to, and do a little work now for a greener spring lawn and a healthier lawn this summer. Don’t wait, your lawn needs you!