Tips For Restarting Your Lawn After Winter
As the snow melts our lawns are coming back into view, and if yours is anything like mine, it’s looked better. Lawns spend the Winter in a dormant state until temperatures rise and it begins to grow again. While grass is dormant any damage it incurs from pets, people, or vehicle tires doesn’t go away. So often our lawns are in rough shape entering the Spring season. This can be especially stressful for those waiting all Winter to list their home. With the typical first impression of a home the exterior, curb appeal is important, and it starts with the lawn.
Tips To Improve Your Lawn
A long Winter will deplete your lawn of nutrients, the first thing you can do is start to feed it. Go to your local home improvement store and get a quick release nitrogen fertilizer. The nitrogen will help spur new growth in both the roots and grass blades. You should see a greener lawn after a few warm days. Always read the label, and don’t overdue it. Similar to yellow spots from our four legged friends, too much fertilizer in one area will burn out your lawn. A broadcast spreader with the right application setting will help. Never throw the fertilizer by hand as it’s almost impossible to spread it evenly and can harm your skin.
If you aren’t in a hurry, a slow release fertilizer is often a better option. They come in granules or pellets and will add nutrients to your lawn over time, with much less risk of burning it out. Slow release fertilizer does as the name implies, slowly releases nutrients and will feed your lawn over time. Read the label and mark the calendar when the next application is due.
Watering Your Lawn
Watering is always important, although it’s not something we often think about in Spring. Weather and temperatures vary depending on your region, if you’re in colder climates the soil can remain moist for long periods of time. Keep and eye on the weather and your lawn condition. If it’s been a stretch of dry weather consider yourself blessed and turn the irrigation on when needed. Make sure to water in the morning, watering at night can cause fungus problems.
Take Care When Mowing
Wait till the grass begins to show signs of new growth before mowing. When you do mow for the first few times don’t cut on the lower settings, short grass will expose the roots and can shock your lawn. For the first mow try to have the blades just take off the tips off the grass. Besides being gentle that will also help to spur new growth coming out of dormancy.
Early Spring is a good time for many pre-emergent weed control products. Crab Grass is one of the main pests that are fought this time of year. Popular products offer both weed control and fertilizer, the most notable probably being “Weed & Feed.” These are good products if you won’t be adding new seed to the lawn. The chemicals used to control the germination and growth of weeds also inhibit the grass seed from germinating, wasting your time and money if you applied both.
Seeding Thin Spots & Over-seeding
With that said early Spring is an excellent time to seed thin spots, damaged areas, and over seed the entire lawn. Don’t be worried about seeding too early, the seed won’t go bad and will germinate once the ground temperature reaches around sixty degrees. The only thing to be cautious about with early seeding is making sure it won’t wash away on sloped areas. If you do put seed on a slope make sure to apply a thin layer of shredded hay over the seed. This will help keep it from washing away and also maintain moisture over the new seed. If spot seeding and the area is in rough shape, you may want to rake it first. If needed you can also add a layer of new topsoil prior to seeding.
There are many ways to help your lawn come back after a long winter. Mow the grass on a high setting until it has had time to recover, fertilize and water the lawn to add nutrients, and be sure to apply the appropriate weed control products. Following these tips will help your lawn regrow and rebuild after the stresses of Winter.
If that seems like a lot of work, always remember that there are experienced lawn care professionals only a few clicks away.