For some homeowners, lawn care takes too much time and effort. However, this is an important time for one's property. If you do not take proper care of your lawn in spring, it could result in various problems throughout the rest of the year. Thus, you should know how to conduct spring lawn care as soon as possible.
#1 Rake Deeply
The first thing you should do in spring is to thoroughly rake your lawn. However, don't do it during the first day of spring. You need to check if the ground is dry enough. If it's still wet and you've already begun to rake the lawn, the soil could become compacted and the young root systems could be damaged.
Even if you did collect all of the leaves in fall, you must do it again this season. By raking deeply, you can remove the leaves while also stopping thatch from building up to a thickness of more than 0.5 inches. The leaves from fall might be gone, but you should remove the dead grass blades caused by the cold winter season.
In addition, deeply raking in spring will get rid of matted patches of grass in your lawn, which are the result of snow mold. If you don't get rid of this particular plant disease, new grass won't grow well in these sections.
#2 Look for Soil Compaction and Moss Development
For homeowners with relatively old lawns, the soil surface would experience a significant amount of traffic. This traffic is the combination of people, animals, and machines moving on your lawn. When there is too much traffic, however, your soil could become compacted. This compaction could then result in the spread of moss, which is difficult to completely remove from one's lawn.
The best way to solve soil compaction is to aerate the soil. Even if you don't have your own aerator, you could rent one at your local gardening supply store. Still, looking for signs of soil compaction is really all you have to do in spring. The process of actually aerating the soil is best conducted in fall, so spring is a time for you to plan ahead.
#3 Water at the Right Time
One of the common mistakes of homeowners is to immediately water their lawn as soon as the first day of spring arrives. This isn't a good time because your lawn grass is still transitioning from a dormant period to an active period. When you water too early, their root systems will grow at a shallow point instead of being deeply established in the soil.
Once the hot and dry summer season arrives, the grasses with shallow roots will begin to wilt and lead to brown and unsightly patches. Instead, you should water the lawn during the latter half of the spring season.
You'll know it's the right time to irrigate the grass and encourage deep root establishment when you see signs of wilting. Likewise, you should water deeply and you must wait for the grass to wilt a bit before irrigating again. Your lawn should receive at least an inch of water every week.
#4 Check for Soil Acidity
The development of moss in your area is not only an indicator of soil compaction but also of soil acidity. To identify the actual pH of the soil in your lawn, you can get a soil test kit. You also have the option to send a soil sample either to a laboratory for testing or to a local county extension that works, which most likely works with a state university.
Apart from getting results, you will also get recommendations on how much lime needs to be applied for every square foot of acidic soil to make it neutral. You wouldn't want to retain the acidity since lawn grass requires a neutral soil pH to grow at an optimal rate. You can cover your lawn with lime using a lawn spreader, but you must be patient since the effects won't be noticed overnight. It could take months or even a year before you notice an improvement in grass growth.
On the other hand, you shouldn't add any lime to the soil if it isn't acidic. Some homeowners think that lime application will prevent lawn problems. The truth is that using lime is a solution to a problem that already exists, which is soil acidity. In other words, you are better off with a neutral soil pH than one that is either too acidic or too alkaline.
#5 Look for Bare Patches
If you notice bare patches in your lawn, you wouldn't be able to attain a beautiful property. These patches are the result of various factors. Some appear due to too much foot and machine traffic. Another reason is insufficient lawn care such as fertilizing and watering. Another cause is the constant exposure of the grass to dog urine, which is filled with nitrogen.
An effective way to remove these bare patches is to overseed them. This basically refers to planting new grass seeds without digging up the soil and the turf that already exists. To overseed, you would need a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to encourage growth. One month after the grass finally goes through germination, you can use a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer.
However, you don't need to overseed your lawn immediately. Similar to the issue of soil compaction, spring is simply an appropriate time to look for problems in your lawn. Once you've identified the bare patches, you can plan ahead not only for aerating compact soil but also for overseeding these areas in fall. If your lawn has too many bare patches, however, you can overseed in spring. Just remember to watch out for the crabgrass that will compete for nutrients with the newly planted grass.
Here is a video about fixing bare patches:
#6 Apply Fertilizer
While some homeowners prefer to use chemical and synthetic fertilizers, you can fertilize your lawn in more natural ways. For one, you can compost manure or make a compost pile. This pile can be made up of kitchen scraps, lawn clippings (use a lawn sweeper for simplicity), and wood chips. We do not recommend adding meat products since it will add an unpleasant odor.
As long as you irrigate and turn your compost pile around regularly, the organic materials will break down properly and serve as a natural fertilizer. Still, you should regulate the amount of fertilizer you apply. Having too much fertilizer can lead to the quick spread of pesky weeds and plant diseases. If you already applied fertilizer in the late fall season, you can reduce the fertilizer you will apply in spring.
In conclusion, there are activities that you can do to ensure that your lawn stays healthy. You can plan ahead for lawn aeration and overseeding in fall to remove compacted soil and bare patches. Likewise, raking and watering deeply at the appropriate time will keep your grass in good shape. Furthermore, checking for soil acidity and applying adequate fertilizer should encourage optimal grass growth.
We hope that our guide helped you to understand the importance of lawn care in spring. As long as you don't overdo, lawn care won't be a tiresome activity. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.